Dr. Ed Spann Serves as 2015 DBU Gallup Lecturer

Dr. Ed Spann

Dallas, TX - Dallas Baptist University hosted Dr. Ed Spann on the DBU campus on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Dr. Spann spoke as the featured speaker of the George H. Gallup, Jr., Distinguished Lecture Series where he presented the contents of his book Presidential Praise: Our Presidents and Their Hymns, co-authored in 2008 by Dr. Michael Williams, DBU professor of history.

Inaugurated in the spring of 2003 by George Gallup, Jr., the Gallup Distinguished Lecture Series brings scholars, public officials, and governmental leaders, whose Christian faith has shaped their expertise and leadership, to the Dallas Baptist University campus.

Dr. Spann attended Hardin-Simmons University and graduated from Ouachita Baptist University. He holds three degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Music Education from Florida State University. He has served in several churches and associational positions in music and worship ministries and has also taught on the music faculties of Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, and at Houston Baptist University. Dr. Spann was instrumental in founding the Department of Sacred Music at the Faculdade (Seminary) Teological Batista de Sao Paulo in Brazil where he published Musica e Louvor (Music and Worship), a book that is still utilized worldwide.

Dr. Ed Spann is no stranger to the DBU campus. After coming to DBU as a faculty member in 1989, Dr. Spann later became the Dean of the College of Fine Arts and directed the DBU University Ringers, which toured throughout the southwestern United States as well as Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Austria, and Germany. Dr. Spann retired from the full-time faculty in 2004, but he continued to serve as an adjunct instructor at DBU. In 2008, Dr. Spann received the Honorary Alumnus of the Year Award from DBU.

In his Gallup Lecture Series presentation, Dr. Spann highlighted the Christian faith of various U. S. Presidents. Many presidents, he noted, were also musically gifted and had a love for hymns. "Many of our presidents were musical and carried that into their Christian faith," Dr. Spann explained.

In his lecture, Dr. Spann explained the evolution of hymnody in America and the effect that the hymns of the time had on the lives of the presidents. Many presidents, argued Dr. Spann, had life-changing experiences due to the texts of the hymns. Some presidents, such as John Quincy Adams, even wrote hymns themselves. Dr. Spann's book Presidential Praise: Our Presidents and Their Hymns (2008) spans a collection of favorite presidential hymns from George Washington to George W. Bush.

Dr. Spann currently tours the nation presenting his book, already in its fourth printing. Dr. Spann and his wife, Jan, live in Duncanville. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Written by Dr. Blake Killingsworth

Dr. Blake Killingsworth is the Vice President for Communications at Dallas Baptist University.