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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Gambrell receives Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary distinguished alumni award

PMA worship associate honored for work on new Book of Common Worship and Glory to God hymnal

March 16, 2018

David Gambrell, associate for worship, office of Theology and Worship. (Photo by Gregg Brekke)

When David Gambrell heard he was to be honored by Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary as a distinguished alumni on Jan. 31, he quipped, “I guess I’m going to have to get a haircut.”

Notoriously self-effacing, the Presbyterian Mission Agency worship associate is one of two alumni who received the award this year. The award is given to those who have distinguished themselves by their service to the church or seminary.

“David Gambrell has had a huge impact on worship in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), including writing hymns that will be sung for generations,” says Austin alumna Carol Howard Merritt.

Gambrell was also recognized for his work on the new Book of Common Worship, to be released in April, and the 2013 hymnal Glory to God. He has received the distinguished alumni award nearly 20 years after he graduated in May 1998.

Gambrell is particularly touched to receive the award at the alumni association luncheon during Austin’s Mid-Winter lectures. During the 2009 luncheon at the Mid-Winter lectures, the seminary dedicated its liturgy lab to professor Stan Hall. Gambrell was close to the influential liturgical studies professor who died of a pulmonary condition on Feb. 3, 2008.

“Stan had a profound impact on so many of us,” Gambrell remarked. “He taught us to think deeply about worship, to ask critical questions and to embody the mystery of faith in our practice. On this 10th anniversary of his death, it is fitting to remember and give thanks for his transforming work.”

The Austin Seminary Association has been giving out distinguished alumni awards since 1975. Approximately 130 awards have been given. The award is not always given to Austin Seminary alumni, though preference is given to them.

The other winner this year is Valerie Bridgeman. As interim academic dean and associate professor of homiletics and the Hebrew Bible at the Methodist Theological School of Ohio, Bridgeman is using her “prophetic voice” to speak about important issues in the church and world. She is also helping prepare future ministry leaders to find their voice as well.

Paul Seebeck, Mission Communications Strategist, Video and Digital Asset Manager, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus:  David Gambrell, PMA worship associate

Let us join in prayer for:

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Staff

Rev. Dr. Margaret Aymer, Professor of New Testament Studies
Glenna Balch, Director of Financial Aid
Rev. Dr. Jack Barden, Vice President for Admissions
Rev. Dr. Whitney Bodman, Associate Professor of Comparative Religion
Deborah Butler, Administrative Assistant for the Office of Student Affairs and Vocation
Rick Carlson, Bookkeeper
Mike Castleberry, Director of Financial Services
Martha Lynn Coon, Admissions Associate for Campus and Community Partnerships
Rev. Dr. Gregory Cuellar, Associate Professor of Old Testament
Mandy Deen, Learning Technologies Librarian

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Patricia Haines, BOP
Denise Hampton, PMA

Let us pray:

Gracious Lord, give us the courage to sing new songs; to live out the gospel in new and unexpected ways in order to share the love of Jesus Christ with a broken and hurting world. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings

Morning Psalms 22; 148
First Reading Exodus 2:1-22
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:3
Gospel Reading Mark 9:2-13
Evening Psalms 105; 130