Sunday June 10
Women’s Day Speaker

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Wilson

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Wilson

Teacher, Preacher, Minister of Music, World Renown Gospel and Spirituals Singer, Entrepreneur

Dr. Wilson, an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church, holds a doctor of philosophy in liturgical studies from Garrett-Evangelical, a bachelor of arts in music education from Dillard University and a master of sacred music degree from Perkins School of Theology. Her dissertation is entitled “The Incarnational Nature of Congregational Song: A Deeper Level of Performance.” At Garrett-Evangelical, she launched the Center for Music and Worship in the Black Church Experience, a one-of-a-kind North American institute that provides training in the sacred music of the black church and beyond to musicians and worship leaders. Also, at Garrett, she served as Assistant Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Students. She currently services as Associate General Secretary, Leadership Ministries Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.

She wrote the Grammy-nominated “With a Made Up Mind,” which was performed by the Donald Vails Choraleers; was named Best Female Vocalist at the 1998 Gospel Choice Awards; and served as the first female and African-American director of music at the 2000 General Conference of the United Methodist Church. She has performed “everything from Handel to Mahalia, and from Bach to Boogie. Wilson has toured Europe, including several festivals of music and recording concerts in Argentina, Brazil, Copenhagen, Denmark, a Spirit-filled concert for the World Council of Churches in Brighton, England, and a memorable fund-raising tour in Seoul, Korea sponsored by Africa University (Zimbabwe).  Notably, she has also shared the stage with dynamic leaders and artists such as Richard Smallwood, Edwin Hawkins (“Oh Happy Day”), Senator Hillary Clinton, Nancy Wilson, Patti LaBelle, Shirley Caesar, Donald Lawrence, Cissy Houston, the legendary Lionel Hampton, and the late Rev. James Cleveland. While serving on the faculty at Fort Worth Conservatory of Performing Arts, she taught and mentored the dynamic Mr. Kirk Franklin in 1987, and in Detroit, Michigan mentored the award winning contemporary gospel artist, Minister Byron Cage.”

Dr. Wilson was also part of the task force that produced “Songs of Zion,” a worship resource consisting of gospels, benedictions, spirituals and chants as well as historical accounts of musical movements within the black church. Out of that project, she came to record “New Songs of Zion,” an album first released by Warner Alliance in 1993 that comprises selected gospel and spiritual songs. In 2005 she co-chaired with Dr. William McClain, professor emeritus of Wesley Theological Seminary, the task force that produced, Zion Still Sings! For Every Generation.