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Past Worship Leader Conferences

The Hymnody of the Non-Institutional Churches of Christ

Special Guest: Steve Wolfgang, PhD; Minister, Church of Christ, Downers Grove, Illinois

July 21-23, 2017

This year we welcome Dr. Steve Wolfgang of Downers Grove, Illinois to speak on Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, a new hymnal published by the Sumphonia Foundation, and hymnology among the non-institutional churches of Christ, which has developed independently from mainline congregations.

This year’s program brings a noted historian, preacher, and hymnologist to Abilene, brother Steve Wolfgang, PhD. Steve comes to us from the non-institutional churches of Christ. Over the years of separation between mainline and non-institutional congregations, unique hymnals have been produced, different songs sung, and other methods forged for the shared goals of glorifying God and teaching one another in a cappella, congregational singing. We hope that Dr. Wolfgang’s preaching and presentation will give perspective and understanding for our history and hope for our future. Brother Wolfgang currently preaches for the church of Christ at Downers Grove, Illinois. He holds degrees from Florida College, Butler University, and Vanderbilt University. In addition to preaching and shepherding at Danville, Kentucky, Steve was a member of the history faculty at the University of Kentucky for 16 years. Steve is an expert in hymnody and served on the editorial board for Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, a hymnal recently published by the Sumphonia Foundation. He has appeared on numerous university lectureship programs and his articles have been published in many journals and magazines.


Reunion: 70 Years, Still Singing

Special Guest: Ken Young, Hallal Music

July 8-9, 2016Reunion Logo (orig)

Thousands of students have studied at The Singing School since 1946. We celebrate these seventy years that God has given us! Our 2016 Worship Leader’s Conference has the theme “Reunion” and will highlight where the School has been and our future goals. Singing School alumnus, Ken Young of Hallal Music, will be joining us for this special time of sharing.
Ken Young currently serves as the Senior Worship Minister at Golf Course Road Church of Christ in Midland, Texas. He is the founder and Director of Hallal Worship and has been an integral part of Streams in the Desert.
As an LCU student in the mid-1970s, he recruited for admissions as a member of touring music group, Hard Travelers. Since that time, wherever Ken has found himself, he has served the body of Christ with music.


Communication Matters

Special Guest: Joey Roberts, M.S. Digital Communications; Communications Minister, University Church of Christ; Adjunct Faculty, ACU

July 10-11, 2015

Whether you are a full-time church employee or a volunteer, we probably all agree that communication is an important component in church work. Communication goes beyond the printed bulletin of old to the digital news of today. How a church communicates via printed material, projected material or social media is important. From words to graphics to video to websites, we must all continue to improve our skills. Our communication efforts matter to the first time guest and the longtime member. Join us as we talk about the matters of communication because Communication Matters.


Singing the Psalms

Special Guest: Mark Shipp, PhD, Old Testament; Professor, Austin Graduate School of Theology; General Editor, Timeless Psalter

July 11-12, 2014

Mark Shipp brings years of experience of scholarly consideration of the Old Testament to our Worship Leaders Conference, as he discusses the role of the psalms in the church’s worship today and gives us an update on the Timeless project.


Emotional Intelligence and the Ministry of Worship Leadership

Joe Ed Furr, MBA; Director, The Texas Normal Singing School

July 12-13, 2013

Leadership in worship is about so much more than being technically proficient in music. A worship leader must have a mind and heart for the people under his leadership, both in the assembly and at other times.


Singing the Psalms

Special Guest: Jack Reese, PhD; Dean, College of Biblical Studies, ACU; contributor to the Timeless Psalter

July 13-14, 2012

All of us know the melody and lyrics to a few of the psalms from the Old Testament. But most of us cannot boast that we can sing every psalm in the Bible. This condition may be about to change. There is a new psalm movement already at work among churches of Christ. This summer’s workshop will focus on the concept of singing the psalms.
We will present the history of the psalms in the Old Testament. We will review how Israel utilized the psalms in the age of the kings and then later in the age of the synagogue. We will briefly review the history of the “Psalter” among Protestants.

We will introduce the most recent movement to revive the psalms. We will introduce a few of the new psalms that are currently beginning to be published.

The new psalm movement will also be reflected in the singing school. The singer’s workshop will present some of the new psalms, and our sight reading classes will learn to sing a few of the new psalms as a part of our effort to help all our students develop their ability to sight read new songs.

We are truly blessed to be able to link The Singing School with recent trends in church music. This new psalm movement may prove to be a grand progression in the development of church music.


A Weekend with a Hymnologist

Special Guest: Robert J. “Sonny” Taylor; Proprietor, Taylor Publications; Editor and Publisher, Songs for Worship and Praise (2010) hymnal

July 8-9, 2011

Sonny Taylor has become our Brotherhood’s premier hymnologist. He has spent the last 22 years of his life researching gospel singing in our Brotherhood. He has searched for many song writers who have contributed to our repertory. He has interviewed them, photographed their world, and explored their adventures in church music.

Sonny has become an expert in copyright law as it is applied to church music. He has found the network of song writers and agents. He has counseled extensively with people who want to publish songbooks. Now, he has produced three songbooks.

He has also become an album producer. He now works with some of the best singing groups in our Brotherhood.
We have invited him to be the central focus of our pre-Singing School workshop and, to our delight and excitement, he has accepted the invitation.

We have suggested that he bring to the event some of the presentations he has developed, introducing songwriters and other historical events relative to church music. He will bring his new songbooks, and he will talk with us about what is happening today in church music.

Sonny is one of our most up-to-date students of the trends in church music. In addition to surveying our Brotherhood, he has traveled abroad on hymn journeys.

We will give you time to interview and question him during the workshop.

To see more of Sonny Taylor’s products, visit www.taylorpublications.com.