Spring Hill, TN
Dennis and his wife, Nan, formerly served on the faculty of Truett McConnell University. Dennis was an Associate Professor of Worship/Church Music and Nan served as an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing.
Dennis and Nan have been married for 45 years and have two grown sons. In their early days together, Dennis led local church music ministries in Kentucky, Georgia, and Florida. Then the Lord opened the door to writing for the church, which began a freelance Christian music writing career for over 35 years and counting.
Three-time winners of the GMA Dove Award for Musical of the Year, they have written and produced hundreds of musicals, collections, dramatic works, and individual songs for children, students and adults.
From the local church to the music studio, to the classroom…God has called Dennis and Nan to serve His people, using one of God’s greatest gifts, music.
DR. JOSEPH BOLIN
Dean at Collinsworth School of Music at California Baptist University
Over the past 24 years, Joseph Bolin’s career has spanned a broad cross-section of performance, music education, professional conducting, and church worship ministry. After pursuing an early career in opera, in which he studied and performed throughout the United States and abroad, Joseph embraced the Lord’s leading into full-time worship ministry, a calling he has actively pursued since. As a full-time worship pastor, Joseph has lead worship ministries of hundreds in influential churches such as First Baptist Church Jacksonville, FL and Sevier Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville TN, spanning a variety of worship styles and cultural dynamics. In addition to his vocation as a worship pastor, Joseph received his DMA in choral conducting in 2013. Shortly thereafter, he joined the faculty of the University of Texas Butler School of Music, serving as Associate Director of Choral Studies where he taught private voice and conducted the principal undergraduate choral ensemble at UT, the University of Texas Concert Chorale. In 2016, Dr. Bolin accepted the deanship of one of the premier faith-centered music schools in the nation, the Collinsworth School of Music at California Baptist University. Under his leadership, the Collinsworth School has doubled in size to 450 students and 65 faculty, added numerous undergraduate and graduate programs to include performance, composition, music education, worship studies, and commercial music, and established a national initiative with Lifeway Worship to utilize CBU students and faculty to recourse the church with fresh and creative music for worship. In addition to his work at CBU, Dr. Bolin remains active as a worship leader, speaker, clinician, and performer.
DR. LUKE GAMBILL
Assistant Professor of Music Business at Lee University
As a Dove Award-winning and multiple Dove Award nominee recipient, Luke’s music ministry, corporate and academic career histories include Worship Leader, Arranger, Choir Director, Producer, Orchestrator, Writer, Touring Clinician/Musician, and Professor.
Having served as Creative Director for Brentwood-Benson/Capitol Christian Music Group for over 12 years and as Creative Manager for Integrity Music for 7 years, Luke has spent almost two decades developing local church focused worship music resources (recordings, print, and video content) for the worship band, church choir, orchestra, student choir, and children’s choir – all in multiple genres ranging from modern worship, inspirational, southern gospel, and gospel. His years of industry experience have given him the great honor of working and partnering with individuals such as Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Wes King, Paul Baloche, Travis Cottrell, Brian Doerksen, Laura Story, Bill & Gloria Gaither, Michael Neale, Geron Davis, and even The Robertson Family (Duck Dynasty).
Luke holds a B.A. in Church Music from Southeastern University, an M.A. in Worship Studies from Liberty University, and a D.W.S. (Doctor of Worship Studies) from The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. Previous academic endeavors include adjunct professor at Lee University and Williamson College, as well as a guest lecturer at Liberty University and Lee University. Dr. Gambill currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Music Business at Lee University.
DR. JOSEPH HOPKINS
Dean and Professor of the School of the Arts, Samford University
Dr. Joseph Hopkins has served as dean of the School of the Arts for the past 15 years. During his tenure the School has broadened from a strong tradition in the performing arts of music and theatre to include Christian Ministry, Worship Leadership, Game Design and Animation, Interior Architecture, Graphic Design, Fine Art, Dance, and more to come! He loves the church, has served as worship leader for thirty years, and is presently worship pastor at First Baptist Church of Birmingham, AL.
Before Samford, Hopkins served as dean of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Evansville. He founded the Harlaxton International Chamber Music Festival and served on the faculty of the Operafestival di Roma (Rome, Italy). Performances include leading opera roles and concerts in North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Recordings include classical works as well as contemporary Christian recordings with his wife, soprano Suzanne Hopkins. Dr. Hopkins holds degrees from Shorter University, Baylor University, and Indiana University. He was named a Fulbright Senior Specialist and completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard University.
Recent events include performances in India, the Dominican Republic, and a series of concerts with the Samford String Quartet, including a performance in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. He and Suzanne are the proud parents of two boys, Joseph and Vance, who make every day more interesting and joyful.
DR. JOHN D. KINCHEN, III
Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Union University
Dr. Kinchen serves as the Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He directs the Union Singers, the select auditioned choir, and Voices of Proclamation, Union’s auditioned vocal a cappella group.
Dr. Kinchen is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana having completed his early music studies at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (N.O.C.C.A.). He received the BM in Composition from The Eastman School of Music, the MM in Orchestral Conducting from The Florida State University, the DMA in Music Education from Boston University, and is currently ABD in the Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS) from Liberty University.
His conducting experience began early as he made his conducting debut with the New Orleans Civic Symphony at age 16 and the New Orleans Philharmonic at age 17. Dr. Kinchen studied composition and conducting for three summers at the Tanglewood Institute and one summer at the Festival at Sandpoint. He served as Conductor and Artistic Director for the Liberty University Symphony Orchestra, Director of the NOCCA Chorale, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Gulf Coast Community Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Crescent City Symphony Orchestra, Director of the Orleans Music Festival Symphony, and Assistant Conductor of the Florida State University Symphony. Dr. Kinchen’s teachers have included Donald Neuen, David Effron, Gunther Schuller, Robert Sirota, Phillip Spurgeon, and Bert Braud.
Dr. Kinchen has devoted nearly 28 years as an educator, pastor, and worship leader prior to joining the faculty at Union University in 2018. He previously taught at Liberty University where he served as Associate Dean of the School of Music and brings nearly 20 years of pastoral ministry experience to his leadership at Union. Dr. Kinchen’s teaching interests include Music Theory, Theology, Worship Studies, Music Education, and Conducting.
Dr. Kinchen considers his family one of his greatest blessings in life. This year, he and his wife, Denise, celebrate 29 years of marriage together, and they enjoy investing time with their two children, Charissa and John “Dawson” IV.
Associate Professor of Commercial Music at Liberty University
Professor Don Marsh is an award-winning arranger, orchestrator, songwriter, and producer with over forty years of experience as a free-lance arranger in the Christian Music field. He has also served as a Minister of Music in several notable churches in America, including Skyline Wesleyan Church where he served with John Maxwell. Professor Marsh graduated from Nyack College in Nyack, New York, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition and from Glassboro State in New Jersey with a Masters Degree in Music Education.
Associate Professor Marsh has arranged, orchestrated, and produced over 300 full albums of choral music, solo artists, and various productions for such publishing companies as Hal Leonard, Shawnee Press, Word Music, Brentwood/Benson/Sony Publishing, and Gaither Music. His publishing career began with writing arrangements for the Old Time Gospel Hour Choir at Thomas Road Baptist Church, under Pastor Jerry Falwell Sr. and director David Randlett. Professor Marsh has had national publications of over 2,500 individual arrangements in his career and worked with such artists as Bill Gaither, Doug Oldham, Sandi Patti and Larnelle Harris (More Than Wonderful), Steve Green, World Help Children’s Choir, and Todd Agnew. Additionally, he wrote several arrangements for National Public Television productions featuring opera diva, Kathleen Battle: SPIRITUALS IN CONCERT (w/ Jessye Norman; James Levine conductor), and A CARNEGIE HALL CHRISTMAS CONCERT (w/ Frederica von Stade, Wynton Marsalis; André Previn, conductor).
Professor Marsh has taught from the elementary level through the collegiate level including teaching public elementary school band and high school choral music. Before joining the faculty of Liberty University, he taught at Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.
Don Marsh has won several awards including:
3 Emmy Awards for arrangements on TV in Southern California
13 Dove award nominations
Dove Award (Musical-Come Celebrate Jesus for Word Music)
Angel Award – Excellence In Media (Once Upon An Orchestra/Symphonyville, Brentwood/Provident Records)
Gold Record for over 500,000 sales of America’s 25 Favorite Praise and Worship Songs (Brentwood/Provident Records)
Professor Marsh has served in the Department of Commercial Music, teaching Arranging, Songwriting, Music Industry, and Artist courses.
DR. GARY MATHENA
Resident Adjunct Professor of Worship Studies for the School of Music at Liberty University
Dr. Gary Mathena became a minister of music when he was only 15 years old. That same year he recorded his first album and published his first song.
Since that time Gary has been the minister of music in some of America’s great churches including the 12,000-member First Southern Baptist Church of Del City, Oklahoma, for two Southern Baptist Convention presidents, Dr. Bailey Smith and Dr. Tom Elliff; the great Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California, where he was for 23 years; and most recently the First Baptist Church of Roanoke, Virginia, where he
served as minister of music for almost three years before embarking on a full-time international ministry to educate, edify, equip, and encourage those who lead God’s people in worship.
Currently, Gary serves as a Resident Adjunct Professor of Worship Studies for the School of Music at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He has an active international teaching ministry in Africa, Russia, Romania, Germany, and Central America. He holds the position of Visiting Professor at Emanuel University of Oradea, Romania, and at the Bibelseminar in Bonn, Germany.
Gary also has the great joy of serving as a trustee for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention—the largest missionary sending force in the world.
Gary is a worship leader, songwriter, author, recording artist, conference speaker, consultant, and frequent guest lecturer at colleges and seminaries on the subject of church music and worship around the world.
Gary’s songs have been arranged and published for choir and recorded by many different artists over the years. His song, Lean On Me, was listed by Brentwood-Benson Publishing Company among America’s 101 Favorite Gospel Songs.
Gary and his wife, Donnita, have two married daughters and eight exceptional grandchildren.
His life verse is found in Psalm 40:3: “He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.”
DR. JAMES MELTON
Professor of Music at Vanguard University
Costa Mesa, CA
Dr. James L. Melton has been Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California since 1997, also serving as Dean or Chair during most of his tenure. In addition to teaching in the areas of worship, church music, and music education, he directs the University Concert Choir and the Vanguard Singers & Band, a worship team of select vocalists and instrumentalists. Both of these ministry ensembles present major concerts throughout California and the western United States - touring each year both nationally and internationally. As a guest conductor for Carnegie Hall & Lincoln Center in New York City, he has conducted various classical works as well as more contemporary works by composers and arrangers as Dan Forrest, Rosephayne Powell, Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. His various ensembles have over 20 worship recording projects to their credit.
James earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (DMA) in Choral Music from Arizona State University as well as the Master of Music degree (MM) and received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Oklahoma Baptist University.
James has ministry experience in schools from high school through the college/seminary level, as well as over 40 years’ experience leading worship and music ministries in various churches as Scottsdale Bible Church (AZ), Mt. View Baptist Church (Phx, AZ), Newport Mesa Church (CA), Faith Baptist Church (Kailua, HI) and most recently at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA. He has also produced church choral recordings for Hal Leonard Publications, Fred Bock Music, and Pavane Music. He has been a contributing editor for The New Worship: Straight Talk on Music and the Church (Baker Books), contributing to journals and articles for “Leadership in Church Music,” devotionals for New Every Morning (BH Publishing), and multiple articles and periodicals on issues regarding music, worship, and the church. James also has a passion for cross-cultural worship ministry, serving as keynote speaker several times for the International Worship Symposium (Lisbon, Portugal) as well as teaching/leading worship seminars in churches, schools and colleges throughout China, India, the Philippines, Europe and the U.S.
He is executive director of Music Across Borders, an international missions organization, and also serves as conductor of the Coastal California Chorale, a community chorus of over 120 voices representing over 35 churches throughout Orange County.
DR. BRAD MOFFETT
Director of Graduate Studies in Music at Lee University
Dr. Brad Moffett is a Professor of Music and the Director of Graduate Studies in Music at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. In addition to teaching courses in music and worship, Moffett is also the conductor of the Lee University Singers, a 45-voice mixed choral ensemble. The Singers tour extensively in the US and around the world performing a wide range of music for a broad audience including churches, schools, concert halls, and other venues. Moffett also serves Lee University as the Director of Chapel Music and LeeU Worship, a collective of student worship leaders, songwriters, and musicians. LeeU Worship’s current focus is to cultivate an atmosphere of creativity by helping students learn creative worship planning and writing original songs for congregational worship.
Brad has been leading worship in various churches and denominations for almost 35 years. He has a heart for convergence worship and seeing congregations experience the fullness of God in musical worship.
Moffett earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Lee University, a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting/Sacred Music from Georgia State University, and the Doctor of Worship Studies degree from the Webber Institute in Orange Park, FL. He is married to Melissa and they have one adult daughter, Morgan.
Director, Voices of Lee - Lee University
Danny Murray has coached collegiate-aged musicians for over 30 years at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. He is the founding Director of Lee’s premiere ensemble, The Voices of Lee, a 15 member a cappella vocal group celebrating 25 years of touring internationally. The Voices of Lee have appeared on Good Morning America and have also performed for “Christmas at the Whitehouse” in Washington, D.C. They have toured Europe with concerts at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and have been featured performers in China at the Shanghai International Music Festival. Convention appearances include Israel, Ontario, Hawaii, and numerous U.S. cities. The Voices of Lee were propelled into the national spotlight on the debut season of NBC’s “Sing Off,” a competition of a cappella groups. Out of thousands of auditions, Voices of Lee was selected as one of eight groups to compete and was featured on four prime time NBC network episodes. After nationwide voting, the Voices of Lee finished second runner up in the Sing-Off. They were also voted one of the favorite groups by the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America. In 2018 they were voted “Favorite Collegiate Group,” “Favorite Religious Group,” and “Favorite Video” by the International A Cappella Music Awards’ voting audience. Currently, their video recordings have exceeded 103 million views online.
Mr. Murray has also produced 17 recordings of the Voices of Lee and collaborated with the Benson Music Company of Nashville, TN in the publication of two books of arrangements by the Voices of Lee. The Fred Bock Music Company has honored Mr. Murray with The Danny Murray Choral Series. Danny Murray is also a popular choral clinician who brings practical instruction, humor, and dedication to inspire singers to new levels of understanding their musical gifts. A former Promotions Director for noted Gospel Artist, Bill Gaither, Danny is married to Dr. Deborah Murray, Vice President for Academics at Lee University, and they have three daughters, one son, and nine grandchildren.
DR. PAUL RANDLETT
Director, Center for Worship and Associate Professor of Music at Union University
Dr. Randlett is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and has served the body of Christ as a worship leader in evangelical churches in Virginia and Florida for over 20 years. He served as Chairman of the Department of Music and Worship Studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia from 2013-2018. He now serves as the Director of the Center for Worship at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. His service to both the church and academia have supplied him with a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in worship leadership. He is a regular presenter at worship seminars and leadership summits. He excels at working with small and large vocal ensembles and worship bands.
Dr. Randlett holds an undergraduate degree in Sacred Music from Liberty University, a Master of Arts in Worship Studies from the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Christian Worship from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to his wife, Jenny, for 22 years. They have two children and four grandchildren.