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One of the most inspirational and informative gatherings of worship leaders, the National Worship Leader Conference (NWLC) is a unique event that brings together musicians and songwriters, movers and shakers, theologians and scholars across the worldwide worship community.


Note on Classes: As we finalize the schedule, some classes need to shift so be sure to double check before you arrive.  Also, when you sign up for a class, it does not guarantee your seat. This schedule is available early so you can plan your day! Thanks for your patience and understanding!
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Wednesday, May 9 • 11:00am - 11:45am
Gospel Music and Contemporary Worship; What Can They Learn From Each Other?

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A Conversational Workshop Hosted by John J. Thompson and featuring Eddie DeGarmo (Industry Leader, Artist, Songwriter,) Nicole C. Mullen, (Artist, Songwriter,) Tricia Alicia (Independent Artist and Worship Leader,) Benita Washington (Mt. Zion Baptist) and more. 
The Rev. Martin Luther King’s famous rebuke rings as loudly now as it did when he said it 57 years ago: "I think it is one of the tragedies of our nations, one of the shameful tragedies,” he said, “that 11 o’clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours – if not the most segregated hour in Christian America. I definitely think that the Christian church should be integrated and any church that stands against integration and that has a segregated body is standing against the spirit and the teachings of Jesus Christ.” 
While we are under no delusion that music alone will overcome all of the obvious and subtle evil of racism, might it not play some kind of role in the breaking down of cultural and relational walls that still divide us? Fifty years ago the evangelical church took some major cultural cues from the contemporary folk music of the day as Jesus Music reflected a spiritual renewal blossoming among millions of young people. That revival saw not only white artists participate, though. Young African American songwriters like Andrae Crouch and Walter Hawkins brought a contemporary sound to Gospel music and contemporary Christian music in those days. Is that conversation happening today? 
Twenty-some years ago “modern worship” took the sounds of arena rock and stadium pop into church sanctuaries and college campuses around the world while contemporary Gospel artists like Kirk Franklin, Commissioned, and Mary Mary further impacted the sound of Sunday morning in black churches around the world. But what might happen if Gospel Music and Contemporary Worship Music started to sing along with each other more? What might these two communities learn from each other? How might the church more effectively worship if the music she sang was less segregated? 
Come join industry veteran and author John J. Thompson, Associate Dean of Trevecca’s School of Music and Worship Arts, who spent well over a decade in the trenches of both Gospel and modern Worship music as a Creative Director for both Capitol CMG Publishing and eOne Music Nashville where he served a roster of songwriters that included Crouch, John P. Key, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Aaron Lindsey, Tasha Cobbs, Hezekiah Walker, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and many more, as he discusses this topic with a special group of highly experienced friends. Our special gathering of experts will get the conversation started, but we will be inviting everyone to get involved. 
And hopefully, this is just the beginning...

Teachers and Artists
avatar for Nicole C. Mullen

Nicole C. Mullen

Night of Worship guest artist (Wednesday)
avatar for John J. Thompson

John J. Thompson

Associate Dean, Trevecca School of Music and Worship Arts
John J. Thompson is a 25-year music industry veteran, author, songwriter, artist, producer and teacher who currently serves as associate dean of the Trevecca School of Music and Worship Arts. Originally from the Chicago area, Thompson moved to Nashville in 2007 with his wife, Michelle... Read More →


Attendees (31)