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Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church & Beyond

For there is still a vision for the appointed time; the vision speaks and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not delay. (Hab. 2:2-3)

Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship Logo

Founded in 2022, in partnership with Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church, the Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church and Beyond (JBDI), a one-of-a-kind global Institute that provides training in the sacred musics of Africana church traditions and beyond for musicians and worship leaders.

 

The Institute has a four-fold purpose:

 

    1. To provide ongoing training and mentoring in the areas of contextual worship and sacred musics born out of Black Church traditions while seeking to give homage to the global ethos of Africana musics.
    2. To enrich, revitalize, and strengthen leaders of congregational worship for the 21st century.
    3. To create an archive of music and scholarship that will preserve and promote the rich history and legacy of Black Church musics.
    4. To acknowledge, uplift, and celebrate the contributions of past, present, and future Africana church musicians.

 

The Institute’s initial efforts will focus on professional development for practitioners who have experienced limited or no formal training in the areas of sacred music and worship unique to the Black church. In the spirit of the former Methodist Circuit Riders, the Institute will be itinerant, holding events and trainings around the country to reach churches, musicians, and choral leaders who cannot easily come to the Chicago area.

Director & Founder

Rev. Dr. Cynthia A. Wilson is an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church serving as the founder and Director of the Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church and Beyond. A talented vocalist, Dr. Wilson has participated as a solo artist, choral conductor, academician, preacher and clinician across 6 continents. She is a Grammy nominee and was noted the “Best Female Vocalist” at the Gospel Choice Awards. Dr. Wilson was invited to join the National Task Force (1979) that produced the Songs of Zion, and Co-Chaired the task force that produced its sequel (2007), Zion Still Sings! For Every Generation with the late Dr. William B. McClain.

Cynthia Wilson

Junius B. Dotson Institute Inaugural Event

 

August 18-20, 2022
The American Hotel | Atlanta, Georgia

 

We are excited to announce the inaugural event for the Junius B. Dotson Institute will take place on August 18-20, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia! Join us for a time of training and mentoring in the following areas:

 

    • Post-pandemic worship planning
    • 21st Century congregational song
    • Audio & video training
    • Liturgical movement
    • Instrumental accompaniment
    • Relationship building for pastors and worship/music leaders
    • And so much more!

 

With seminar options for both beginner and advanced worship/music leaders, there is something for everyone. Seminars will be taught by renowned leaders, including Mike Bowie, Renita Weems, L’Tayna Moore Copeland, YaNi Davis, David Wood, Kathleen Turner, and more!

 

The inaugural event will also feature a Celebration Concert by Richard Smallwood & Vision with Cynthia Wilson and the Dotson Institute Mass choir!

Registration and Hotel Information

Registration rates and information on how to register is coming soon!

The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown

Location: 160 Ted Turner Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 3030

 

Rooms & Rates: 1 King Bed – $147.00/night OR 2 Double Beds – $155.00/night

 

Reservation Cut Off Date: July 27, 2022

 

A block of rooms has been reserved at The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown which offers the following concessions to those attending the Dotson Institute event:

 

    • Complimentary Wi-Fi in Guestrooms and Meeting Space

    • Group rate honored one (1) day pre/post based on rate availability

    • Discounted overnight valet parking rate of $20 per day (we do not offer self-parking)

 

To reserve a room, you can contact their 24 hours toll free reservation line at 855-243-1342 and ask for Junius B. Dotson Institute OR you can make a reservation online here.

 

Each guest is responsible for all charges associated with their stay.

 

Registration Information Coming Soon!

Registration will be opening soon! If you would like to be notified when registration opens, please sign up via the form below.

Notification Sign-Up Form

Celebration Concert

 

August 20th | 7:00 p.m.
Saint Philip AME Church,
240 Candler Rd SE, Atlanta, GA

 

Everyone who registers for the Dotson Institute Inaugural Event will also receive a free ticket for the Celebration Concert on August 20th at St. Phillips AME Church. The concert will feature Richard Smallwood and Vision with Cynthia Wilson and the JDBI Mass Choir!

Richard Smallwood & Vision

Gospel Recording Artist and Guest Performer

Cynthia Wilson

Cynthia Wilson and JDBI Mass Choir

Grammy Nominated Artist and JBDI Founder & Director

General Schedule

Thursday & Friday

9:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Morning Seminar Session

11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Lunch (provided)

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Afternoon Seminar Session

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Dinner

6:45 p.m.

Celebration Concert Preparation

Saturday

9:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Morning Seminar Session

11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Lunch (provided)

1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Celebration Concert Preparation

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Dinner

6:45 p.m.

Celebration Concert featuring Richard Smallwood and Vision at Saint Philip AME Church

Meet Our Seminar Faculty

Mike Bowie

 

National Executive Director
SBC21

Renita Weems

 

Writer & Biblical Scholar
Something Within

L’Tanya Moore Copeland

 

Director of Worship Arts
Saint Philip AME
Atlanta, Georgia

YaNi Davis

 

Founder
My SupaNatural Life (MSNL)

David Wood

 

Executive Director
GNTV Media Ministry

Kathleen Turner

 

Liturgical Dance Ministry
Greater Allen AME Cathedral
New York, New York

Diana Sanchez-Bushong

 

Executive Director, Worship Resources
Director, Music Ministry
United Methodist Discipleship Ministries

Monya Logan

 

Director of Worship Arts
St. Luke Community UMC
Dallas, Texas

Kevin Smalls

 

Senior Pastor
Hope UMC
Southfield, Michigan

Cynthia Wilson

 

Founder and Director
Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church and Beyond

Jarvis Wilson

 

Minister of Music
West Hunter Street Baptist Church
Atlanta, Georgia

Derek Weber

 

Director of Preaching Ministries
United Methodist Discipleship Ministries

Eli Wilson

 

Founder
Eli Wilson Ministries: A Church Music Leadership Educational Resource Ministry

Brian Hehn

 

Director
The Center for Congregational Song, The Hymn Society

Toska Medlock Lee

 

Owner
The Myriad Group & Co.

Jeff Greene

 

Unity Productions, LLC

Thursday Morning Seminar Options

Jeff GreeneJeff Greene, a native of Miami, FL currently resides in the Atlanta, GA metro area. He is a graduate of Morehouse College where he earned a BS Degree in Computer Science.

Jeff began his communications journey at Ben Hill United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA where he served as a volunteer in their Communications Ministry. In 1996, he joined the staff as the Assistant Technical Director.

 

While serving in this capacity, Jeff studied all aspects of audio, video, lighting and projection and developed his expertise in these areas. In 2001, Jeff decided to launch out and start his own production company, Unity Productions, LLC. The company focused on helping churches with their audio, video, lighting and projection needs while also providing technical services for live events all around the Atlanta area.

 

In 2017, Jeff was promoted to Technical Director and continued to grow his company. While consulting and installing systems for multiple churches, Jeff recognized that many of them lack training for their staff and volunteers. Training has become a vital component for Unity Productions, LLC in helping churches improve their worship experience.

 

Jeff has been married to the lovely Dr. Toya D. Greene for over 32 years and together they have six wonderful children.

Derek WeberBorn and raised in Indiana, Dr. Weber has a BA in Speech and Theatre, a Master of Theology, (MTh), and a Ph.D. in preaching and communication from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

 

An ordained United Methodist Elder, Derek has served churches, from small to large, in Indiana, Arkansas, and the UK. As of July 1, 2019, Derek was named Director of Preaching Ministries with Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church in Nashville Tennessee.

 

Derek is married to La Donna Riddle Weber and they are parents to their now adult children Rhys Edmund Myung-hoon Weber and Madeleine Marie Min-hee Weber.

Thursday Afternoon Seminar Options

Friday Morning Seminar Options

Eli WilsonEli Wilson, Jr., is a native of New Orleans. He is an ordained Minister of Music with 32 years of full time service. He is the founder of Eli Wilson Ministries: A Church Music Leadership Educational Resource Ministry.

 

Eli is an independent solo artist with 9 recordings to his credit and his compositions have been recorded by Babbie Mason, Keith Pringle, Ben Hill United Methodist Church, and Trinity United Church of Christ. His music has also been published in five hymn books?

 

Eli is the author of “Equipping The Church Choir for Ministry” and produces a weekly music and teaching broadcast series on You Tube and Facebook.

 

Eli did his undergraduate study at Dillard University – New Orleans, LA – in Vocal Music Education and his post-graduate study at Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and the Eastman School of Music – Rochester, NY – in Christian Education and Sacred Music. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Virginia Seminary and College.

 

Eli has been the worship leader and a workshop facilitator at the Hampton Minister’ Conference. He is a Certified Life Coach, and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

 

Eli is married to Brenda Marie Simmons- Wilson. Together they have two sons, Eli III and LeVar Antoine. They also have two grandchildren , Elijah, and Nahla.

 

Minister Wilson is retired from the local church music ministry, and is now committed to working with church music leaders for the betterment of musicians and their ministry.

 

 

Cynthia WilsonRev. Dr. Cynthia A. Wilson is an ordained deacon serving as the founder and Director of the Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church and Beyond, a one-of-a-kind global Institute that provides training in the sacred musics of Africana church traditions and beyond for musicians and worship leaders.

 

Most recently, she served as Executive Director of Worship Resources and Director of Liturgical Resources at Discipleship Ministries, an agency of The United Methodist Church. Prior to her work at Discipleship Ministries, Dr. Wilson served as Assistant Vice-President of Student Life and Dean of Students at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

 

A talented vocalist, Dr. Wilson has participated as a solo artist, choral conductor, academician, preacher and clinician across 6 continents. She is a Grammy nominee and was noted the “Best Female Vocalist” at the Gospel Choice Awards. Her recording credits have been nominated for several awards and she has been a featured soloist on a multitude of recording projects and shared the stage with noted music legends such as Richard Smallwood, Edwin Hawkins (“Oh Happy Day”), Ken Medema, Nancy Wilson, Patti LaBelle, Shirley Caesar, Cissy Houston, the late Lionel Hampton, and Rev. James Cleveland. One of the true highlights of her ministry included a benefit concert for Africa University at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

 

Dr. Wilson was invited to join the National Task Force (1979) that produced the Songs of Zion, and Co-Chaired the task force that produced its sequel (2007), Zion Still Sings! For Every Generation with the late Dr. William B. McClain.

 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Dillard University, a Master of Sacred Music degree from Perkins School of Theology/ SMU, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Liturgical Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Friday Afternoon Seminar Options

Dr. Alisha Lola Jones is an associate professor in the music department of the University of Cambridge. She is a board member of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), a member of the strategic planning task force for the American Musicological Society (AMS), and a co-chair of the Music and Religion Section of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). Additionally, as a performer-scholar, she consults museums, conservatories, seminaries, and arts organizations on curriculum, live and virtual event programming, and content development. Dr. Jones’ book Flaming?: The Peculiar Theopolitics of Fire and Desire in Black Male Gospel Performance (Oxford University Press) breaks ground by analyzing the role of gospel music-making in constructing and renegotiating gender identity among black men. Dr. Jones’ book has been awarded several book prizes: the 2021 Ruth Stone (SEM), Music in American Culture (AMS), and Philip Brett (AMS) Prizes. Her research interests extend to global pop music, musics of the African diaspora, music and food, the music industry and the marketplace, and anti-oppressive ways of listening to black women. A little-known fact is that Dr. Alisha Lola Jones and her sister Rev. Angela Marie Jones are co-owners of Paradise Media Group, a Black women-owned radio company based in Oxford and Henderson, NC. She is married to Rev. Calvin Taylor Skinner, her partner work and love.

For this seminar, pastor & staff are required to enroll as a team.

Saturday Morning Seminar Options


Junius Dotson

About Junius B. Dotson

 

The Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church and Beyond was is named in honor of the late clergyman and denominational leader, the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, a nationally recognized speaker and author on evangelism and church revitalization.

 

A nationally recognized leader, speaker, and author, the Rev. Junius B. Dotson is the General Secretary (chief executive officer) of Discipleship Ministries, an international agency of The United Methodist Church, an organization with a staff of more than 130. Dotson was elected General Secretary in 2016.

 

Under Dotson’s leadership, Discipleship Ministries has worked toward having the 11-million-member denomination ensure every congregation has an intentional discipleship system, engages with people currently outside the church, and cultivates local (contextual) resources around the globe.

 

Rev. Dotson is the author of Soul Reset: Breakdown, Breakthrough, and the Journey to Wholeness (Upper Room Books). Released to national acclaim, the book is a 6-week study for everyone who moves at breakneck speed through daily life.

 

Rev. Dotson served on a team of 16 global United Methodist leaders, across a wide theological spectrum, toward a proposal that would preserve The United Methodist Church while allowing traditionalist-minded congregations to form a new denomination. The proposal was reached with the help of famed mediator Kenneth Feinberg, who worked on the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

 

Dotson launched “See All The People”, the highly successful church-wide initiative that helps church leaders concentrate on intentional discipleship, while learning new behaviors around engaging their surrounding community. 

 

Rev. Dotson is also the author of Developing an Intentional Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregations and Engaging Your Community: A Guide to Seeing All the People. Both resources help congregations look beyond their walls, acknowledging that God calls us to have “meaningful relationships in authentic, organic and consistent ways.”

 

As a leader who responds to challenges and opportunities in new and creative ways, Rev. Dotson believes that effective ministry is about training, developing, and empowering leaders to establish ministries that address the needs of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. 

 

His current 90-second daily radio series, “See All The People”, is featured on more than 40 stations across the U.S. His ministry has been featured in The Tennessean, The San Jose Mercury News, The San Francisco Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, The Wichita Eagle, religious journals and segments on CBS Radio’s “The Osgood File,” as well as on ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates in San Francisco, San Jose and Wichita.

 

Prior to his present position, Rev. Dotson was Senior Pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas, where he was instrumental in transforming the 3,500-member church into a multi-campus congregation.

 

In 1996, Rev. Dotson responded to the challenge of planting Genesis United Methodist Church, a new and innovative church in the Silicon Valley of California, which grew into a diverse faith community of nearly 500 people. 

 

Rev. Dotson received his undergraduate degree in political science, with a concentration in economics, at the University of Texas at Arlington. While attending UT-Arlington, he was president of the local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, the nation’s oldest African-American fraternity.  Rev. Dotson began his graduate work at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. He was ordained in June 1992.