Theological Reflection and Critical Dialogue on the Practice of Worship in the 21st Century

A Music Ministry Symposium

Sat. November 16, 2013

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Andover Newton Theological School

210 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459

Admission: $25

(Discounted group rates are available. Email if interested.)

Eventbrite - Theological Reflection and Critical Dialogue on the Practice of Worship

The confirmed keynote for the session is Dr. Ouida Harding, an ordained “Minister of Music for Worship” who is also the visionary and founder of Ouida W. Harding Ministries, “a training consortium for persons who dare to rethink the possible by setting standards in music ministry leadership for the 21st century and beyond.” 

Following the keynote, Critical Dialogue sessions will be facilitated by Rev. James E. Dove (Pastor, Congdon Street Baptist Church, Providence); Dr. Dennis Slaughter (Founder & Artistic Director, Boston Community Choir and Artistic Director, Boston Pops Gospel Choir); and Sis. Patricia Dance (Director of Liturgical Arts, St. Paul AME Church, Cambridge).  Each will challenge participants to examine, ponder and discuss how we do what we do with the sole goal of initiating conversations that can be taken back to local congregations to aid in worship renewal. 

More on the Speakers:

Dr. Ouida Harding

Ouida is a native New Yorker (Harlem) where her father, Rev. Walter L. Harding (one of the founders of the local association), served as pastor of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church for fifty-three years. Her “on the job training” in church music ministry began at St. Luke when, at the age of 12, she was assigned to assist the Minister of Music (Mrs. Harding), until she left New York in 1971. In 1975, Ouida’s military assignment permitted her to return immediately after her mother’s sudden illness, and her role in and growth in this area of ministry resumed.

Ouida’s aspiration to focus on church choir ministry came as a result of a challenge issued to seriously examine her role as a musician in the church and was confirmed in 1984 when she responded to a call to help a church choir redirect and redefine their purpose for singing. This experience was a turning point in Ouida’s life determined her perspective in church music ministry from performance to purpose. Ouida’s love for Christ through choir ministry has placed her in great demand throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, Barbados, the West Indies and Port Limon, Costa Rica. Her ministry has enabled her to explore the origin, feeling and delivery of gospel music first as a form of encouragement, as opposed to entertainment or business. She was recently featured in a documentary “Sing Harlem” as the instructor to help Korean students to understand the difference between Gospel music as the Word of God, and gospel music the style as a means of entertainment.


In 2007, Ouida was licensed by Rev. Dr. Winston R. Rudolph, and the congregation of the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Pompano, Florida. Her assignment was to make a difference in Church Music Ministry leadership.  After that, Ouida received the degree, Doctorate in Worship Studies (June 2012), from the R. E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, Orange Park, Florida,


Minister Harding was ordained as the first Minister of Music for Worship in the Baptist Denomination at the Greater Harvest Baptist Church, Baltimore, Maryland on, September 30, 2012.


Because of Reverend Harding’s radical perspectives on the position “Minister of Music” in the Black Baptist Church, she was featured in the December 2012 edition of the Grace and Glory Magazine, and accepted the invitation to lecture at the prestigious Hampton Ministers’ Conference in June 2013. Her lecture, The Minister of Music, Authentication for Leadership in the 21st Century, focused on moving from the ambiguous minister of music to authenticating a position worthy of the title minister, in this case where the focus is music ministry leadership.


Dr. Harding is now the Visionary and Founder of Ouida W. Harding Ministries International, (, a training consortium for persons who dare to rethink possible by setting standards in music ministry leadership for the 21st Century and beyond. Hallelujah. God be praised.


Rev. James Dove

Reverend James E. Dove, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received his B.A. degree from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania.  He attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia, where he was awarded the Master of Divinity degree.  Rev. Dove served as pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Boston for nine years and currently is the pastor of Congdon Street Baptist Church in Providence, RI.

Rev. Dove’s other ministerial positions have been varied. He served as Minister of Evangelism at Zion Baptist Church in Everett, MA, as an Associate and Youth Minister at Peoples Baptist Church of Boston, MA, and while a student at Gordon Conwell, served on the ministerial staff at Eliot Congregational Church in Roxbury, MA. His denominational work includes service as Vice-President of the American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts and as Vice-Moderator of the Boston Southwest Association. As a member the Boston Southwest Association he chaired its Committee on Ministry which assists candidates in the ordination process.

In addition, Rev. Dove was the Multicultural Advisor for ALANA students, (African/Latino/Asian/Native American) at Gordon College in Wenham, MA from 1996-2001.

Rev. Dove’s writings have been published in the African American Devotional Bible and From One Brother to Another: Voices of African American Men.  He was also a recipient of the National Black Pastor’s Fellowship awarded by the Congress of National Black Churches and was selected to participate in the Nehemiah Leadership Network, a specialized, three–year training program, (sponsored by the American Baptist Churches), for pastors who have a high potential for leading renewal and transformation in congregations.


Dr. Dennis Slaughter

Dennis L. Slaughter, originally from Jackson, Mississippi, has sung in school and church choirs since the age of five and has directed choirs since the age of ten.  A musician and educator, both by training, Mr. Slaughter has worked diligently to bridge music and other media to enhance classroom learning via a multi-modal approach.  He likewise uses various media to enhance the teaching and learning of music itself.  An avid fan of the gospel music genre, Mr. Slaughter has seen on versatile gospel music is--beyond its typical church service role.  It is used as effectively on the stage and screen as it is at worship. Slaughter has worked to reach out into the “community” and has often found music to be a great motivator, confidence booster, and source of encouragement.


Slaughter is a an organization development specialist at the National Education Association (Washington, DC), of Bethel A.M.E. church in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts; and he is currently the Director of Music at Parkway U.M.C. in Milton, Massachusetts.  Mr. Slaughter holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master’s degree in Education from Boston University, and a doctoral degree in Law and Policy from Northeastern University. He and his wife of 28 years, Dr. Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, have two adult sons.


Sis. Patricia Dance

Patricia Dance is the executive assistant to the pastor and music department coordinator at St. Paul A.M.E. (Cambridge) where for 15 years she served as the director of liturgical arts which includes the divisions of dance, drama, and visual arts.  Co-producer of the New England Conservatory (NEC) Thomas A. Dorsey Gospel Jubilee, she is also the co-founder and coordinator of the 200 voice NEC Millennium Gospel Choir.  Ms. Dance also served as coordinator and as faculty for the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and NEC Project STEP (Focus I) Program (the program that identifies promising African-American, Latin-American and Native American string players.  She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Long Island University (NY) in sociology and in psychology and she is a Master of Education degree candidate at Lesley University.  Her arts background includes studies in voice, dance and theater at the Cleveland Music Institute, Juilliard School of Music (NY) and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center (NY); and she is owner of Patricia Dance & Associates (a conference/meeting planning business specializing in arts and minority health projects).


Eventbrite - Theological Reflection and Critical Dialogue on the Practice of Worship