Exemplary Leadership in Church Music
The Award for Exemplary Leadership in Church Music was instituted in 2005 and is given to a graduate of Baylor University who has contributed uniquely and significantly to some aspect of the broad scope of church music ministry. The award can be given for cumulative lifetime achievement or a singular contribution.
In 2023, we presented the Award for Exemplary Leadership in Church Music to:
A graduate from Baylor University, David Phelps is credited among today’s most spectacular voices. His seemingly endless vocal range, which extends more than three octaves, coupled with his gift for communicating a song, has brought the house down in the world’s most prestigious venues. For nearly 20 years, David served as a member of the popular and prestigious Gaither Vocal Band, and during that time received numerous Dove Awards, two Grammy Awards, and multiple platinum-selling recording projects.
As a solo artist, he received 2009 Dove Award nominations for Male Vocalist of the Year and Long Form Video for the Christmas DVD, O Holy Night to add to his many awards and honors. Since 2012, David has topped the Billboard charts time and time again with releases like: the 2012 live DVD Classic (#1), the 2015 live DVD Freedom (#1), the 2017 live DVD The Best Of David Phelps (#1 topping such popular video releases as The Beatles’ Eight Days A Week), and most recently the 2018 live DVD It Must Be Christmas (#2). The various recordings have been featured on numerous television networks, including the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and have received acclaim in both secular and gospel music genres. In 2020, David returned with his newsest release, GameChanger. The album contains a sensational mixture of 15 pop, jazz, Inspirational, R&B and Broadway-inspired selections – all weaving together the themes of redemption and unity.
|Year of Award||Name||Baylor Alumni, Class of|
|2005||Wesley L. Forbis||1956|
|2008||Billy Ray Hearn||1954|
|2009||Hal H. Hopson||1954|
|2013||O. D. Hall, Jr||1957|
|2022||Chris & Diane Machen||1977,1978|