BUIES CREEK -- Larry G. Dickens, a 1975 graduate of Campbell University who has been the minister of music at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., since 1999, is the first person selected to fill the Gay T. and Haskell A. Duncan Chair of Church Music at Campbell University Divinity School.
While at Snyder, Dickens had been an adjunct professor at the Campbell Divinity School since 2003 and served as a church music intern supervisor for the University Music Department from 2003-06.
In his new position as associate professor of church music and worship at Campbell, Dickens will give leadership to the Master of Divinity’s church music concentration program, teach courses in that concentration, and guide the planning of weekly chapel services.
“The privilege to serve as an adjunct faculty member has given me new perspective on the state of church music in our region,” Dickens said. Out of this experience came his vision to birth Oasis: Renew for the Journey, a church music conference hosted by the Divinity School each summer.
“Listening to and interacting with divinity students has fueled my passion to train a new generation of worship leaders,” he said.
Andy Wakefield, dean of the Divinity School, said: “We are delighted to have Larry Dickens coming as the first holder of the Duncan Chair of Church Music. Dr. Dickens not only brings a wealth of experience, both in the church and in teaching at Campbell, but also he brings vision and a commitment to music and worship that is defined by depth and substance rather than style. We look forward to all that he will bring to our school.”
Wakefield added: “We are fortunate to have had a generous donor who gave us the funding for the chair and to have someone of Dickens’ experience and abilities to fill it.”
Dickens has served as a staff member in the local church for almost four decades. In addition to serving at Snyder, he served at First Baptist Church in Anderson, S.C.; The Baptist Church of Beaufort in Beaufort, S.C.; Alice Drive Baptist Church in Sumter, S.C.; and Cave Spring Baptist Church in Roanoke, Va. He also served at First Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C.; Yates Baptist Church in Durham, N.C.; and Second Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C.
At Snyder, he led the establishment of the second largest church-sponsored music school in the United States. The Snyder Music Academy enrolls more than 600 students and uses some 30 faculty members. In all, Snyder’s music program has about 900 participants.
In addition to his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Campbell, he has degrees from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity with a concentration in church music and a Doctor of Ministry. His D.Min. project was “Project in Ministry: Training and Encouraging Bivocational Music Leaders.”
He is married to the former Gail Butler, a 1978 graduate of Campbell. They have one daughter, Faith, a 2013 graduate of Campbell Divinity School. Dickens considers Rocky Mount, N.C., his hometown and currently lives in Fayetteville.