Garrett-Evangelical News

Don E. Saliers

Don SailiersDon E. Saliers is the Wm. R. Cannon Professor of Theology and Worship, Emeritus, at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and is adjunct professor at St. John’s University School of Theology, Collegeville, Minnesota. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Yale Divinity School, with doctoral work at Cambridge and Yale Universities. He served as President of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, and the North American Academy of Liturgy, from whom he received the Berakah Award in 1992..  Before coming to Emory University in 1974, he taught at Yale Divinity School and has taught in the summer programs at St. John’s University (Collegeville, MN), Notre Dame, Boston College, Vancouver School of Theology, and more recently at Boston University School of Theology.  

For many years he directed the Sacred Music Program at Emory, and has been organist/choirmaster at Cannon Chapel for 33 years. Among his fifteen published books are Filled With Light ( 2008),  Music and Theology (2007), Sounding Glory: Hymns for the Church Year (2006), A Song to Sing, A Life to Live (2005), Worship and Spirituality (1996), Worship Come to Its Senses (1996), Worship As  Theology: Foretaste of Glory Divine (1994), and The Soul in Paraphrase: Prayer and the Religious Affections (1991).  He has published more than 150 articles, essays, chapters in books and book reviews.  Currently he is working on a theological commentary on the Psalms.

Don served United Methodist churches in rural Ohio and the inner city of New Haven, Connecticut.  He has given numerous named lectures across the United States on matters of worship, spirituality and music, and has been involved in the development of United Methodist worship resources for forty years.  He has been an editor of Worship journal, and of Weavings,  in addition to being an active composer, performing regularly with the Emory Chamber Players in Atlanta. He continues to lecture and lead retreats.

Brian Wren

Brian by bookshelf cropped

Brian Wren is Emeritus Professor of Worship, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He is a writer, preacher, worship and workshop leader, and internationally published hymn-poet, with entries in most recent denominational hymnals in North America, Britain and Australia. Some of his hymn-poems have been translated into Finnish, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish and Korean.  Brian holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Oxford University. He is a Minister of the United Reformed Church (UK). His publications include What Language Shall I Borrow? - God-Talk in Worship: A Male Response to Feminist Theology (1989 and 2009), Praying Twice: The Music and Words of Congregational Song (2000), Advent, Christmas and Epiphany: Liturgies and Prayers for Public Worship (2008), Hymns for Today (2009) and eight hymn collections totaling 250 hymns.

Rev. Cynthia A. Wilson

Cynthia Wilsonis an Ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church and has received degrees from Dillard University and Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology. Rev. Wilson is a popular lecturer, preacher, teacher, conductor, and concert artist.  Rev. Wilson provided leadership for the National Task Force that produced the historic liturgical resource, Songs of Zion (1981). In 2007, along with Professor William B. McClain (retired Professor of Homiletics Wesley Theological Seminary), Rev. Wilson Co-Chaired the National Task Force that produced Zion Still Sings! For Every Generation, the sequel to Songs of Zion.  As an extraordinary vocalist and Grammy nominee, Rev. Wilson has numerous recording credits including her 1993 breakthrough "New Songs of Zion" (Warner Alliance label) which was nominated for several awards, “Spirituals: Songs from the American Experience” with Dr. S.T. Kimbrough (Global Praise CD series sponsored by the United Methodist Church Board of Global Ministries), and “GOSPEL KONCERT”: Live I Radiohusets koncertsal” (Copenhagen), one of her most cherished Choral projects. She has ministered throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and North America. Her CD, "Simply Cynthia", features music from the 2000 General Conference of the United Methodist Church (Cleveland, Ohio) where she served as the first female and African American Director of Music.  Presently, Rev. Wilson is the Dean of Students at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois where she is completing her PhD in Liturgical Studies and Theology.

Robin Knowles Wallace

Robin Knowles Wallace portraitRobin Knowles Wallace, Professor of Worship and Music at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, received her Ph.D in theology and worship from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Northwestern University.  Her other degrees are a BA in music from the University of Cincinnati, an MA in church music from Scarritt College, and a Masters in Theological Studies from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.  Prior to her doctoral studies, Robin served as a church musician (organist and choir director) for twenty-five years.  She has published seven books: The Christian Year: Guide for Worship and Preaching.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2011, Worshiping in the Small Membership Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008, Worship in Small Membership Churches, with Rev. Terry Heck. Discipleship Resources, 2007, Communion Services: Just In Time. Nashville: Abingdon, 2006, Palm Sunday and Holy Week Services: Just in Time. Nashville: Abingdon, 2006, Moving Toward Emancipatory Language: A Study of Six Recent Hymns: Drew University Series on Liturgical Studies. Lantham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1999, Things they Never Tell You Before You Say ‘Yes’: The Non-Musical Tasks of the Church Musician. Nashville: Abingdon, 1994.  In addition, Robin is a contributing writer to twelve books on worship and hymnody, and the author of numerous articles and reviews in journals.  She currently serves as editor of The Hymn: A Journal of Congregational Song, published quarterly by the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.

Chi-Yong Oh


Chi-Yong Oh is a hymnist from South Korea who is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Music Ministry and the Master of Divinity programs at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Oh was ordained by the Korean Methodist Church in 2008. He conducted the choir in the Korean United Methodist Church of South Suburban Chicago since 2011. Oh majored in voice at Hyupsung University in 2000, and studied for a Master of Theology at Hyupsung Theological Seminary in 2003. He has served at Korean and Korean immigrant churches as a choir director, a music pastor (Daewon Korean Methodist Church), an associate pastor and a senior pastor.

Dan Damon

dancdamonDan Damon studied at Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois (BME, 1977) and Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California (MDiv, 1987). He is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. Damon has served three appointments as pastor in northern California: Sutter and Meridian United Methodist churches (1987-1992), Modesto First United Methodist (1992-1995), and Richmond First United Methodist (1995-present). Three of his hymns are: ‘like a child’, ‘Strong, gentle children’, and ‘Eat this bread and never hunger’. Damon is an internationally published writer of hymn texts and tunes. He is Associate Editor of Hymnody for Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, Illinois. Damon is also a jazz pianist and has played in many hotels and clubs in the San Francisco Bay area. Damon has presented his work at national conferences of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada and the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. He co-authored a paper with Eileen M. Johnson, ‘A Cry for Justice in Hymnody’ which appeared in the Autumn 2010 edition of The Hymn.

John Thornburg

Best pic from FulshearJohn Thornburg is a pastor, a song enlivener, a poet and a professional encourager. He began his ministry serving four different churches in greater Dallas including an inner city cooperative parish. That cooperative work resulted in the revitalization of six congregations, as well as the creation of a network of ministries that served 30,000 people per year. In 2001, after 22 years in parish ministry, John pursued a new calling by starting an itinerant ministry of song leading and worship consultation called “A Ministry of Congregational Singing.” He now travels the country leading congregations in singing, and consulting with churches about how to enrich the singing of the congregation. John is a published poet whose texts appear in 18 different hymnals and collections of Christian worship songs. John is the President of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, a worship leader and small group facilitator for the Institute for Clergy and Congregational Excellence in Austin, TX, and a faculty member of the Academy of Missional Wisdom, a new enterprise devoted to training leaders for micro-communities of prayer and action. He is also co-founder of a community of creativity in Dallas called HOLY CITY, devoted to writing worship songs for the church.

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