A century of song leading
Churches of Christ in Music City are mourning the loss of two well-known voices — with combined song-leading careers of more than 130 years.
James L. Jackson, longtime professor of music and chairman of the music department at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., died Sept. 16. He was 84.
“The heavenly chorus has gained another powerful bass-baritone who will brighten up the skies with his smile alone,” Doug Smith of Palestine, Texas, posted on Jackson’s online obituary.
Jackson, a native of Farmersville, Texas, was a choral conductor for 60 years and served as a worship minister for Churches of Christ in his hometown and the Texas cities of Farmersville, Mineral Wells, Eastland, San Angelo, Garland, and Dallas in addition to Nashville.
A U.S. Army veteran who served in France, he earned degrees from Abilene Christian University in Texas, the University of North Texas and the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Pat, married in 1960.
After his retirement from Lipscomb, he worked as a consultant for the Tennessee State Department of Education. He also started the Gran-Timers, a senior adult ministry of the Granny White Church of Christ in Nashville.
In 2007 he organized the Bellevue Community Chorus and directed the group until December 2013, when he became Director Emeritus of the chorus.
Another longtime worship leader in the Nashville area, Paul Brown, died Oct. 9 at age 88.
Brown, a native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., led singing for Churches of Christ for 70 years — with congregations including the West End Church of Christ in Nashville, the Fourth Avenue Church of Christ in Franklin, Tenn., and most recently the Vultee Church of Christ in Nashville.
“He was a brilliant man,” said family friend Lynne Herndon, “and had such a wonderful voice.”