LOUISVILLE, Ky. â€” Two prominent worship leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention will be joining the faculty of Southern Seminary this fall. The hiring of professors Joe Crider and Chuck Lewis is part of a major new step forward in the seminary's School of Church Ministries' vision of training worship pastors equipped for the challenges of the 21st century.
Crider comes to Southern from Liberty University, where he has served as professor of music and humanities and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Crider also has served as minister of music at the First Baptist Church of Roanoke, Va., since 2008. At Southern he will serve as professor of music and worship leadership.
Bryan Smith, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Roanoke, said of Crider, â€œWithout a doubt, Joe Crider will make a significant contribution in leading SBTS to become one of the premier centers for training the next generation of worship leaders for the SBC. He has developed a greater understanding and commitment to authentic biblical worship among our people in the context of genuine Christian unity and love. With Joe Crider, people aren’t merely commodities for ministry but people are ministry. I believe his move to SBTS will have a wonderful impact on the worship ministries for future generations.â€
Crider received the bachelor of music and the master of arts from Bowling Green State University and the doctor of arts from the University of Northern Colorado.
Lewis has served in the worship ministry of First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, Fla., since 1993. Since 2004 he has taught at Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA) University in West Palm Beach, Fla. Lewis has degrees from Florida State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
â€œChuck is a faithful, godly, theologically grounded worship pastor who is extremely talented and extremely committed to Christ and His church,â€ said Jimmy Scroggins, lead pastor of First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, Fla. â€œChuck will be greatly missed at First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, but I cannot think of a better man to train men for worship leadership in the local church.â€
Lloyd Mims, dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts at Palm Beach Atlantic University, said of Lewis, â€œAt PBA Chuck helped us develop the practicums for our new popular music track in worship leadership; these courses are â€œcutting edgeâ€ in terms of their ability to give students strong feedback in their ministry intern positions. The students in Chuck's Creative Worship Design course have benefitted immensely from his personal, positive interaction with them. As a former dean of Southern Seminary's School of Church Music and Worship, I take great delight in the fact that one of my faculty members is now assuming an important role in Southern Baptist church music education.â€
Randy Stinson, dean of the School of Church Ministries, said he was elated to see two nationally renowned scholar-practitioners joining the faculty. â€œJoe Crider and Chuck Lewis share our vision,â€ Stinson said. â€œThey are able to train up those who will be not only accomplished musicians but pastors who lead worship. â€œThese men are respected in the scholarly guild, but they are also two of the most effective worship leaders in our denomination, who know what it is, week by week, to lead the people of God in worship,â€ Stinson said. â€œI could not be more thrilled to see these two men joining us in spending the next decades of their ministry training up the next generation of worship pastors.â€
The School of Church Ministries was established in 2009, with a vision for training ministers in such areas as music, worship, discipleship and family ministry.