Camp Kirkland Visit to Free Will Baptist Bible College
30 Jan 2007
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Recently, famed composer/arranger Camp Kirkland visited the Choral Arranging class that I teach at Free Will Baptist Bible College. Camp is one of the premier orchestral conductors and arrangers in church music today with over a thousand published compositions to his credit with some of largest publishers of Christian Music. Of course, he did a wonderful job presenting practical arranging tips, discussing how he goes about composing, and letting us hear some of his fabulous new works while he offered his personal analysis of each. It says a lot that someone of his stature would take the time to mentor some young students.
However, something really caught my ear that I would like to share with you today. Camp Kirkland has a tremendous passion for music missions and his work with the Global Missions Project. Mr. Kirkland said that the 1st missions trip he had ever taken was around 4 years ago. Since that time, he has been on more than 20 mission trips that have reached all over the world including such diverse countries as Malaysia, Cuba, Brazil, Australia, and Spain to name a few.
In our conversation after class, Camp described music missions as being an “instant magnet” in connecting and building relationships in international settings and how music has the ability to transcend cultural and language barriers. He talked about the thrill of taking an orchestra and having a musician from a host country, who speaks another language, sit down and play from the same stand.
Camp is also known for his mission involvement at home as well. He is the conductor for the Nashville Praise Symphony and recently performed a concert to raise money for the Nashville Rescue Mission where he and all of the orchestra’s professional musicians donated their time to assist the homeless and less fortunate here in Nashville.
Global Missions Project (http://globalmissionsproject.com/) is an interdenominational missions organization committed to leading Christian musicians in sharing Jesus Christ with the world, encouraging believers, and ministering to people through music. It was developed in 2002 to create music missions opportunities that focus on the actual need of ministries in the field where they are located. Over the last three years, the Global Missions Project, has had the privilege of “building the bridge” for thousands of “musicianaries” from over 300 churches, 9 denominations and 35 states going to more then 25 countries world-wide.
Just think of what Christian musicians around the world could do to spread the positive message of Jesus Christ by using our music to be an “instant magnet” to people in need of hope and light. I appreciate the example of men like Camp Kirkland. Let’s do our part as well.
James M. Stevens
Senior Music and Culture Advisor
Dr. James Michael Stevens is a prolific musician and published composer of over 200 songs. Winner of numerous ASCAP Standard Awards for Composition, he has formally served as President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee as Chairman of the Music Department at Free Will Baptist Bible College.