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New music history center at G-ETS

Music Institute honors Dotson and led by Wilson

Discipleship Ministries has partnered with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary to create The Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church and Beyond.

February 10, 2022 | NASHVILLE, TN – February 25 marks one year since the passing of Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries. In honor of his great work, Discipleship Ministries has collaborated with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary to create The Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church and Beyond.

“Discipleship Ministries is delighted to partner with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary to create The Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church and Beyond,” said Jeff Campbell, acting general secretary of Discipleship Ministries. “Partnering with Garrett to train current and future generations of worship leaders is an important part of the mission and purpose of Discipleship Ministries. Discipleship Ministries worship staff looks forward to supporting the Institute as together we offer training events globally.”

The Discipleship Ministries Board of Directors unanimously approved a grant of $500,000 to support the formation of the Institute, whose mission is to train music and worship leaders in the area of sacred music and general worship, and create an archive of music and scholarship promoting and preserving Black Church music and its history.

“The contributions that the Rev. Junius B. Dotson offered throughout his lifetime to the Church of Jesus Christ are a gift,” said Bishop Mark Webb, president of the Discipleship Ministries Board of Directors. “The Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church and Beyond will continue to build upon those contributions and add to the legacy of Rev. Dotson.”

Rev. Dr. Cynthia A. Wilson will retire from her position as Executive Director of Worship Ministries of Discipleship Ministries to begin leading the new institute starting April 1, 2022.

“Dr. Wilson’s passion for worship, her tremendous gifts, and her desire to equip others for the fullness of worship will be a rich blessing” Webb added on behalf of the board.

“It is no secret that the historically rich soundtrack of the Black Church context is in imminent danger of becoming extinct,” said Wilson. “For this reason, the Institute seeks to recover, recreate, and revitalize the distinctive musical and liturgical heritages born out of the ethos and pathos of Africana music and worship celebrations.”

Rev. Dotson’s children, Wesley and Janelle Dotson, shared, “The music ministry was such a strong passion for our dad. Watching him reconnect with playing the piano and the joy that it brought him in his life are memories that we will always cherish. We are looking forward to watching the Institute develop and grow, and our family is honored to have it named after our dad. We are thankful for Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and the Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church in their efforts to honor our dad and keep his legacy alive.”

The Institute will be organizationally situated within Garrett-Evangelical’s Center for the Church and the Black Experience.

~ Click here to learn more about The Junius B. Dotson Institute for Music and Worship in the Black Church and Beyond.

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