2017-2020 Hymnal Revision Committee Biographies
The Hymnal Revision Committee embodies the identity of today’s church and the church of the future. Other constituencies not represented on the committee will be sought and highly valued as consultants in the revision process. The committee members are:
Neil M. Alexander is President and Publisher Emeritus of The United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville. Neil retired after 28 years of service at UMPH, having served as editorial director, book editor of The United Methodist Church, vice president of publishing and for 21 years as president and publisher. He has been actively involved with conceiving, developing, delivering and evaluating the quality and efficacy of resources for congregations, the general church and the academy in the areas of worship, music, liturgy, theology and Christian formation.
Rev. Karen Chraska is Associate Pastor of Worship and Music at Trietsch Memorial UMC in Flower Mound, Texas. Karen was commissioned a diaconal minister and certified music minister in 1994 and was ordained a Deacon in Full Connection in 1997. She has served three churches in the Dallas area, including the past 20 years at Trietsch Memorial. Karen received a bachelor’s degree in music and communications with a minor in theater from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and a master’s degree in sacred music with an emphasis in choral conducting from Southern Methodist University.
Nelson Cowan is a provisional elder in the Florida Annual Conference and a doctoral student in liturgical studies at the Boston University School of Theology, North Andover, Mass. Nelson’s practical experience as a worship leader and his academic research interests revolve around contemporary worship music and faithful liturgical renewal. In particular, his interest is in the intersection of 20th and 21st century charismatic and evangelical worship expressions with Wesleyan liturgical theology. Nelson’s goal is to teach worship at a theological institution and complete his research as an ordained elder and UMC pastor.
Rev. Melissa Drake is Field Outreach Minister in the Iowa Annual Conference in Atlantic, Iowa. Melissa earned her Master of Divinity degree from Drew University Theological Seminary. As a Field Outreach Minister, her primary role is to be a strategist and coach for a wide range of congregations, helping clergy and laity move toward vitality and relevance in their local context. In this position, she has worked with and developed an understanding of diverse congregations. Since 2016, she has coached nine congregations that have launched new worship services in response to the needs of their local communities.
Lim Swee Hong, Ph.D., is Professor of Sacred Music at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada, and member of Hewitt First UMC, Hewitt Texas. Swee Hong also is Director of Research for the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. He previously served as an Assistant Professor of Church Music at Baylor University and as a Lecturer of Worship, Liturgy and Music at Trinity Theological College in Singapore. Swee Hong earned a doctorate in liturgical studies from Drew University, a master’s degree in sacred music from Perkins School of Theology and an undergraduate degree in church music at the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music in the Philippines.
Louisa Locklear is Music Director at Pembroke First UMC and public school music teacher in Pembroke, N.C. Louisa earned a bachelor’s degree in religion, with a minor in church music, from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and a master’s degree in Christian education from Pfeiffer University. During the past two decades, she has served as director of Christian education/music director at Prospect UMC, and music director at Triad Native American UMC, Sandy Plains UMC and currently at Pembroke First UMC. Louisa also teaches general music for prekindergarten through fourth grade at Prospect Elementary School.
Monya Logan is Minister of Worship and the Arts at St. Luke “Community” UMC in Dallas. Monya recently celebrated her 25th year of service at St. Luke “Community” where she provides leadership to the worship, arts and media team. She attended Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and holds a bachelor’s degree from Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. Monya has twice served as chief organist for the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. She was on the editorial team for the African American Songbook, Zion Still Sings for Every Generation and has served as worship leader, clinician and consultant throughout the connection.
Rev. Geoffrey Moore is President of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and a provisional elder serving as Creative Director of A Ministry of Congregational Singing & Worship, an extension ministry in the North Texas Conference. He has served on the staff of numerous churches, including Highland Park UMC and Lovers Lane UMC, both in Dallas. Geoffrey is a doctoral candidate in religious studies with an emphasis in systematic theology at Southern Methodist University.
Rev. Lydia Muñoz is Lead Pastor at Church of the Open Door in Kennett Square, Pa. Lydia’s church is an intentionally inclusive and diverse multicultural congregation in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, where she is an ordained elder in full connection. Lydia is Puerto Rican and has lived and served in several multicultural communities around the world where she has designed and lead worship since she was 12 years old. She is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary and Penn State University.
Diana Sanchez-Bushong, Ph.D., is Director of Music and Worship at Westlake UMC in Austin, Texas. Diana served as the Director of Church Music Resources for Discipleship Ministries, formerly the General Board of Discipleship, from 1986-1993. She was a staff consultant to the Hymnal Revision Committee that produced The United Methodist Hymnal in 1989 and also Mil Voces Para Celebrar (Thousand Voices to Celebrate) in 1996. Diana earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Texas (UT), master’s degrees in both sacred music and music conducting from Perkins School of Theology and a doctorate in choral conducting from UT.
Rev. Theon Johnson III is Associate Pastor at Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco. An ordained elder in the California-Nevada Conference, Theon earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies and education at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and a Master of Divinity degree at Wesley Theological Seminary. While at seminary in Washington, he served as an advocacy associate with the General Board of Church and Society on Capitol Hill. Theon served as the United Methodist campus minister at Jackson State University and both lead musician and music director at Canton UMC.
Beverly McAlilly is Director of Music Ministries and Organist at First UMC in Tupelo, Miss. Beverly has been music director and organist at her church since 1984, and has served as organist for United Methodist gatherings on the state, regional and national levels. She received a bachelor’s degree in organ performance from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and a master’s degree in church music from Scarritt College in Nashville. A longtime member of The Fellowship of United Methodist in Music and Worship Arts, Beverly has served in a variety of leadership positions, including national president from 2003-2005.
Mark Miller is Associate Professor of Church Music and Composer in Residence at Drew University in Madison N.J. Mark is a member of Covenant UMC in Plainfield, N.J., and serves as music minister at Christ Church (UCC) in Summit, N.J. He is a lecturer in sacred music at Yale University and regularly speaks, preaches and performs concerts nationwide focused on creating community and advocating for social justice. Mark’s hymns and anthems are published by Choristers Guild, Hinshaw Music Abingdon Press, Santa Barbara Music Publishing and others. He served as lay delegate to three General Conferences and was music director for the 2008 General Conference.
Rev. Anna Moon is pastor at TroyHope Ministry (English Ministry) at Korean UMC in Troy, Mich. Anna received a bachelor’s degree in voice performance with teaching certificate from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a master’s degree in voice performance from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She was a praise/worship leader for a number of years in both Korean and in English. Anna served as a public school music teacher for 10 years before attending Fuller Theological Seminary, where she earned a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in worship. She is an ordained elder in the Detroit Annual Conference.
Rev. Dr. Karen Westerfield Tucker is Professor of Worship at Boston University in Boston. Karen is an ordained elder and has served as a pastor in congregational and campus ministry settings in the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference. She became a professional church organist at the age of 13 and continues now on an occasional basis. Karen earned a Master of Divinity degree at Duke University Divinity School and a doctorate in liturgical studies at the University of Notre Dame. She currently is engaged in several research and writing projects related to worship and music, including a critical edition of worship-related texts in the Works of John Wesley series (Abingdon Press) and a book on the theological and cultural dynamics of hymnals.
Addditional information about the work of the committee may be found here »