Deborah Carlton Loftis

Short Name: Deborah Carlton Loftis
Full Name: Loftis, Deborah Carlton

Deborah Carlton Loftis is Executive Director of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, a non-profit, ecumenical organization devoted to the promotion and development of congregational song. Prior to accepting the Hymn Society post, she taught church music for nine years at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (Richmond, VA).

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Loftis graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1974, with a BA in history, and completed a Masters of Church Music at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky (1977), writing a thesis entitled, ‘The Hymns of Georgia Harkness: 1891-1974’ . In 1988, she received a PhD in musicology from the joint degree program of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, and the University of Louisville. Her doctoral dissertation studied the history, ethnic identity, and musical style of Southern Harmony singers in western Kentucky. In 1991, she added a Masters of Library Service from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, to her professional credentials. In addition to working as a music librarian, she taught in music and church music programs at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama and McAfee School of Theology, Atlanta, Georgia before joining the faculty at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. She is an ordained Baptist minister and has worked in music and pastoral ministries in congregations in Kentucky and Alabama.

She co-edited with J. Michael Raley, Minds and Hearts in Praise of God: Hymns and Essays in Church Music in Honor of Hugh T. McElrath (Providence, 2006) and has contributed to other recent volumes: Hymnology in the Service of the Church: Essays in Honor of Harry Eskew (MorningStar, 2008); Jubilate, Amen! A Festschrift in Honor of Donald Paul Hustad (Pendragon, 2010) and New Songs of Celebration Render: Congregational Song in the 21st Century (GIA, 2013).

--Deborah Loftis, 4/1/14

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