Trinity’s Music History by Jacob Sensenig
Trinity’s Music History
Billy Ray Hearn, Leroy Yarbrough, Tommy Lyons, Randy Edwards, and Donn Wisdom are only five of the individuals who served as Minister of Music (or some combination of that title) at Trinity Baptist Church over the last 70 years. Together these five men account for almost 55 years of service at TBC, and their names make up a “who’s who” of musical leadership in Baptist Church music circles. Being a student of history, when Pastor Les called me to see if I would be interested in applying for the position at TBC, I immediately recognized the weight of responsibility of serving a church with such an amazing history.
Billy Ray Hearn would go on to found Sparrow Records and be a major player in the burgeoning Contemporary Christian Music field. Leroy would find success at TBC with “The Sound Foundation,” which was one of the premiere youth choirs in a new movement of God all across the country. They traveled and recorded extensively. They performed “youth musicals” like “Tell It Like It Is” and “Celebrate Life.” Leroy would go on to teach hundreds of church musicians through his leadership at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Tommy was one of the early adopters of the “Living Christmas Tree” model, which would continue for over 20 years at TBC. He was known all across Texas and the Southern Baptist Convention as an innovator and a mentor to younger church musicians. Randy and Donn both have had distinguished careers in their own right.
Andre Crouch, Kurt Kaiser, Ralph Carmichael, Cynthia Clawson, Joyce Jones, Cliff Barrows, Mark Hayes, Selah, Mercy Me, Mary McDonald, The Chuck Wagon Gang, Joseph Martin, The Baylor Religious Hour Choir, Andrew Peterson, and Buddy Greene… This is a brief list of the amazing performers who have given concerts or led worship from our platform over the years and there are many more amazing musical acts in our future.
Music has always been an important part of the legacy and ministry of Trinity Baptist Church and I am excited to see what God has in store for the next 70 years. Trinity has been a place that has held the best of the tradition in tension with the most innovative and transformative practices of the present, and that excites me! Let’s live out that vision and seek to find where God might be calling us in the days ahead!