Oklahoma Baptist University

Dallas Hymnologist to Speak Oct. 17

Dr. C. Edward Spann, retired dean of the College of Fine Arts at Dallas Baptist University, will speak at OBU on Monday, Oct., 17 at 10 a.m., in Room 203 in Raley Chapel. The public is invited.

The program will be a multi-media presentation on “Presidential Praise: Our Presidents and Their Hymns,” co-authored by Spann. The program includes information about United States presidents and their favorite hymns, material which has been published in a book by the same title. The book includes not only the printed version of all presidents’ favorite hymns, but also a Compact Disc sung by the “Presidential Praise Hymns Ensemble” of Dallas Baptist University. The book, released in October 2008, is currently in its third printing.

Spann’s visit is sponsored by the Fellowship of Church Musicians and the Church Music Department at OBU. “Presidential Praise: Our Presidents and Their Hymns” will be available for sale at the presentation as well as in the campus bookstore.

Spann went to Dallas Baptist University in 1989 from Houston Baptist University. Prior to his time at DBU, he founded the Department of Sacred Music at the Baptist Seminary in Sao Paulo, Brazil, while serving as a music missionary. He previously taught at Shorter College in Rome, Ga. His granddaughter, Karrington Spann, is a freshman at OBU from Madagascar, where her parents serve as missionaries with the International Mission Board.

A North Little Rock, Ark., native, Dr. Spann attended Hardin-Simmons University, but graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. He holds three degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth as well as a Ph.D. from Florida State University in Tallahassee. He has served several churches and associations in related positions.

Spann’s writings in hymnology and church music have been published in many journals. He was the guest writer for The Church Musicianmagazine in 1984-85. Articles written by Spann have also appeared in The Hymn, The Journal of the Baptist Church Music Conference, Baptist History and Heritage, Children’s Music Leader, Handbells, and Overtones magazines. He also authored a book, “Musica e Louvor” (“Music and Praise”) while in Brazil. He founded the University Ringers, an award-winning hand bell choir from DBU, which has toured internationally and has recorded two CDs. Spann has written several hand bell arrangements which are in print.

His articles based on hymn stories were published in the Today Newspapersin southwest Dallas County. Currently he is writing a series of dramatic vignettes for introductions to hymns called “Our Heritage of Hymns.”His has given presentations on “Presidential Praise”in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Arkansas. He has also spoken at the Presidential Libraries of Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Herbert Hoover, and he will soon speak at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.

For more information about the informative, interesting and inspiring program, contact Dr. Lee Hinson, coordinator for church music studies at OBU, at lee.hinson@okbu.edu.