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The Call: Reclaiming Our Deep Passion

Registration is now closed. Contact Doug Haney for more information.


February 1-3, 2024

Oakland Baptist Church & Grace Lutheran Church

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Who in the next generation will be called to church music and how does the significance of a sense of calling sustain the life and work of a church musician? At our conference we will highlight this theme in worship and in group conversations.


Come and reclaim and renew your own call to music ministry. Come and help us rethink how we can nurture the call to music ministry in students. Your voice matters and we want you to be part of these conversations.



Thursday, February 1, 1:00 p.m. – Saturday, February 3, 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, February 1

Oakland Baptist Church
1067 Oakland Avenue


1:00 p.m. Gathering/Registration

  • Hymns Old and New - R.G. Huff

  • Working with Aging Singing Voices - Jeremy Mims and Kristen Wonderlich


  • Dinner @ Kounter 
    An exquisite dining experience at the site of a civil rights sit-in in 1960. Chef Rob Masone is a 2023 SC Chef Ambassador.

Friday, February 2

Grace Lutheran Church
426 Oakland Avenue


  • Breakfast @ hotel or on your own

  • Panel Discussion on Nurturing the call in future church musicians: 

  • Filippa Duke and Aaron Rice

  • Spiritual Practices and the Body - Julie Merritt Lee


  • Lunch @ Grace Lutheran Church

  • Choral Lab with Winthrop Chorale - Jeremy Mims

  • Choral Anthems Old and New

  • Round-table discussion and brainstorming on activating a network of vocational talent scouts


  • Dinner @ Oakland Baptist Church

  • Choral concert @ Oakland Baptist Church - Winthrop University Chorale

Saturday, February 3

Oakland Baptist Church
1067 Oakland Avenue


  • Breakfast @ hotel or on your own

  • Findings from research initiative, Harmony Project 2.0: Susan Deal, Keith Reaves, Marty Watts, Keeley Tarkington (tentative) 

  • Closing Communion service

11:00 a.m Adjourn



Registration is now closed. Contact Doug Haney for more information.

Includes 3 meals: Thursday dinner, Friday lunch and dinner



Retiree Registration




Students must be currently enrolled


Lodging Options

Cambria Hotel Rock Hill - University Center

354 Technology Center Way

1.2 miles from Oakland Baptist Church

(803) 324-0004

$119 (plus tax) - King

$119 (plus tax) - Double Queen

Breakfast not included.

Reservations must be made by January 2, 2024.

After this date reservations will be accepted on a space and rate availability basis only. Group rates are not guaranteed after this date.

Hilton Garden Inn - Rock Hill

650 Tinsley Way

4.4 miles from Oakland Baptist Church

 (803) 325-2800 

$119 (plus tax) - King

$129 (plus tax) - Double Queen

Breakfast not included. Shuttle available within 5 miles.

Reservations must be made by January 8, 2024.

For room reservations after January 8,  call hotel directly. (Contact Emily Wade at 803.325.2800 x7802.)

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

680 Tinsley Way

5.1 miles from Oakland Baptist Church

(803) 630-8452

No Polyphony discount.

Call hotel directly to reserve rooms.

Shuttle Service from Charlotte-Douglas Airport

Shuttle service to be provided on Thursday and Saturday. For more information, contact Suzanne Ringer.



Filippa Duke_ Photo.jpg

Edenton Street United Methodist

 Raleigh, NC


Winthrop University & Grace Lutheran

Rock Hill, SC


Winthrop University

Rock Hill, SC


Hymn Writer

Waxahachie, TX

Rice Headshot.jpg

Gardner-Webb University & First Baptist

Lincolnton, NC

Julie Merritt Lee pic.jpg

Spiritual Director

Houston, TX


Oakland Baptist Church

Rock Hill, SC

Presenter Bios

Filippa Duke

North Carolina native Filippa Duke serves current Director of Music and Worship Arts at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in downtown Raleigh where she conducts the Chancel Choir, Wesley Ringers. She received her DMA in Church Music with dual concentrations in Choral Conducting and Organ Performance. Dr. Duke has served as a sacred musician, conductor, and organist in a variety of faith traditions throughout the United States, in addition to serving as interim professor of organ and sacred music at East Carolina University in 2022-23. She lives in Raleigh with her husband and daughter. See more at

R.G. Huff

R. G. Huff is semi-retired from 40-plus years of music ministry in local churches in Texas, Colorado, and Missouri, most recently serving University Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, NC.


A native of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, he graduated from Carson Newman University with a major in biblical studies and minors in music and art; he holds a Masters of Church Music from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.


Passionate about hymn-singing, R. G. has spent most of his retirement years writing hymns, writing about hymns, and encouraging others to write hymns… but mostly to SING hymns! He has written devotional books in his HYMN LINES series and recently released CAROL LINES.


R. G. is a published lyricist of anthem texts and has written extensively for professional magazines. He is an adjunct professor in the School of Fine Arts at Dallas Baptist University. He is also the creative director of Waxahachie’s Old Fashioned Singing Project and maintains (a resource site for planning traditional worship).


He and Carlita are members of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas where they are active in the music ministry. They have two adult sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandsons.


He loves traveling, reading, attending movies and live theater… and riding roller coasters.

Julie Merritt Lee

Julie Merritt Lee is a spiritual director, helping people through their own “alchemy of heartbreak,” vocational discernment, spiritual malaise or liminal space that wants expression. Her passion is helping people find healing and wholeness through various modalities in her spiritual direction practice including writing, dream work, and body movement to name a few. Her formal training includes a BA in English and a Masters of Divinity. Julie was the pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina for seven years before she became a spiritual director. Julie loves to track wonder, lap up words, and finds the numinous in the landscape of loss.

Jeremy Mims

Dr. Jeremy Mims is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Winthrop University. Previously he was on the faculties of Clarke University and Whitman College, where he conducted the choirs and orchestra. He was also a public school educator in El Paso, TX.


A musician of multiple talents and diversity, Jeremy has appeared on national and international concert and opera stages as a conductor, collaborative pianist, violinist, and a tenor chorister. An active clinician and collaborative pianist, Mims has served as conductor and pianist for numerous high school all-region and all-state choirs, as well for professional and university choruses. He conducted the Winthrop Choirs in a performance at Carnegie Hall in 2018. In 2022, he received second place for the Dale Warland Award in Choral Conducting for his role as artistic director of Inspirar, his community choir in South Carolina. In addition, the Winthrop Chamber Singers and Inspirar both received third place in their categories in choral performance for the American Prize in 2022. Twice he has served as the pianist and associate director at the Prague Choral Festival. In 2023, he conducted concerts in Bulgaria, as part of the Varna International Festival. His ensembles have performed at several music conventions.


Mims has presented at regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, of which President-Elect of the South Carolina chapter. Dr. Mims hold degrees from Hardin-Simmons University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. He is the Director of Music at Grace Lutheran Church in Rock Hill, SC, where he directs the choirs and serves as pianist and organist.

Aaron Rice

Aaron M. Rice serves as Chair of the Department of Music and Associate Professor of Music at Gardner-Webb University, where he directs the Music and Worship Leadership Studies program. Prior to his arrival in Boiling Springs, Dr. Rice served at Shorter University as Director of Choral Activities and Coordinator of Music and Worship Leadership. A native of North Carolina, Rice received degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, East Carolina University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Aaron is married to Lane and they have two children, Kati Fletcher and Henry.

Suzanne Ringer

Rev. Suzanne Fowler Ringer has served as Associate Minister for Music and Community Involvement at Oakland Baptist Church, Rock Hill, SC psince 2018. Presently, Suzanne is on the board of the SC CBF Youth Choir Festival, Polyphony Musicians Resources and is the Handbell and Caroler Coordinator for ChristmasVille, Rock Hill. She was Director of Music Ministries at Union United Methodist, Irmo, SC for 21 years, and Director of Music/Organist at St. Peter Lutheran, Chapin, SC. Suzanne has also been a Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator. Suzanne obtained a Bachelor of Music from Wingate University and a Master of Church Music from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky. She has also done post-graduate work in Choral Conducting at the University of South Carolina. Suzanne has traveled with her choirs to Prague and Austria as well as performing at the Koger Center of the Arts, Columbia, SC. Suzanne resides with her husband, Jim (retired LMSW). They love to travel and visit their “New’ granddaughter, son, Lawrence Abernathy (Anna) in Kansas as well as their daughter, Jamee, who is a trainee at the Joffrey School of Ballet in NYC.

Kristen Wonderlich

Wunderlich holds a B.A. degree in music and English from Luther College and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in performanceud with a SsdEj field of vocal pedagogy from the University of North Texas. ance of the cycle in Octoberub high info 2006.

Wunderlich currently teaches voice, diction, art song literature, and vocal pedagogy at Winthrop. She has taught voice previously as a teaching fellow at the University of North Texas and as a faculty member at the University of Texas-Arlington, The Pennsylvania State University, Luther College, and Waldorf College.

Dr. Wunderlich currently serves as the President for the South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Her students have enjoyed much success on stage in opera roles, competitions, and master classes. In the past few years, several of her students have advanced to Regional NATS competitions in both musical theatre and classical categories, with several advancing to the prestigious National NATS auditions. She also regularly has students participate in the annual Met Opera auditions.

RG Huff
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