Speakers and Musicians

27th Festival of Homiletics - 2019 Minneapolis

"Preaching as Moral Imagination"


Patrice E. Turner - Liturgist

Director of Worship & The Arts; Ebenezer Baptist Church

Patrice E. Turner is accomplished in the classical, jazz, and gospel traditions as a pianist and a soprano vocalist. She is also a licensed music educator. She currently works as the Director of Worship & The Arts at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA.

Patrice E. Turner received the Doctor of Education degree in Music and Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in May 2009. Her dissertation is titled Mentoring Music Educators in Gospel Music Pedagogy in the Classroom, sponsored by Professor Lori A. Custodero and seconded by Professor Harold F. Abeles. She received the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance, the Bachelor of Music Education degree in Choral and General Music, and the Master of Arts degree in Music Education from The Ohio State University. As an undergraduate, she had a concentration in African and African American Studies. Patrice is also a recipient of the Master of Education degree in Music & Music Education from Teachers College. Her first article, “Getting Gospel Going,” was published in Music Educators Journal (December 2008). A second article, “The Sacred and the Secular: Where Do We Draw the Line?” was published in the Journal of Religious Thought (Volume 59, Nos. 1-2 and Volume 60, No. 1, 2006-2007).

Patrice’s music career began at age three when she first started playing the piano; she is accomplished in the classical, jazz, and gospel traditions as a pianist and a soprano vocalist. For ten years, she has worked as a teacher of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s (JALC) WeBop! Program for children ages 8 months to 5 years in New York City. She has also been an accompanist, band leader/concert curator, and member of the curriculum development team. This collaboration is between JALC and Professor Custodero. WeBop: A Family Jazz Party, a CD that features Patrice as a vocalist and composer, was released February 28, 2012. Patrice has several other CDs to her credit, which span classical and religious musical styles (Sounds, Shapes and Symbols [2001], 21 Spirituals for the 21st Century [2005], The Rhythm of G!d [2011], and Lead Me, Guide Me, Second Edition: Lectionary Psalms [2013]). Her debut EP, Introducing Patrice E. Turner, was released internationally on January 31, 2015.

Her work with gospel music began at age five when she transposed a hymn for a trumpet and piano duo. Since then, she has composed and arranged several gospel songs for her home church, the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church of Columbus, Ohio (pastored by her father, the late Pastor G. Thomas Turner, Sr.); her group, Spiritually Fed; and her personal endeavors. She spent several years leading the music ministry of her home church as a musician, vocalist, director, and composer before moving to New York City. Presently, she is the Artist In Residence at the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem (Pastor Michael A. Walrond, Jr.). For several years, Patrice co-taught and then led the music directors and musicians class of The National Baptist Congress of Contemporary Christian Training (formerly the National Baptist Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress) and served as the head of the music department from June 2011 to June 2013. Since June 2012, she has served as the Wendell Whalum Recital accompanist, choir sectional accompanist, and auxiliary keyboardist for the Hampton Ministers’ Conference and Choir Directors’ and Organists’ Guild. Patrice was the guest American gospel director for Svenska Gospelverkstaden from January 29- February 16, 2015 and ministered in four cities in Sweden by leading concerts, workshops, and masterclasses.

As a choral and general music educator, Patrice taught at Johnson Park Middle School in Columbus, Ohio (grades 6-8) for three years. In addition, she conducted two groups of Capital University’s Columbus Youth Choir for three years. The ensembles consisted of the Carolers (grades 2-4) and the Choristers (grades 5-8). Patrice has shared her musical gifts nationally and internationally in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Chilé, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Sweden. In addition, she has performed at such world-renown venues as Jazz at Lincoln Center (NYC), Smetana Hall (Prague), The Apollo Theater (NYC), Carnegie Hall (NYC), and The Konserthuset (Stockholm).

One of Patrice’s favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Sessions for Festival of Homiletics 2019