conference was started in 1975 by Leslie N. Casaday, who served as
Principal Parish Musician at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in
Jackson, Mississippi. Begun as a weekend workshop for the St.
Philip's Choir, the Mississippi Conference has, for more than
thirty years, provided for the Church's musicians and clergy
from all over the country a time away for spiritual renewal and
professional development. For one week every August they gather
with a faculty made up on some of the finest theologians and
musicians in the Episcopal Church to sing, to learn, to be
challenged, and to be fed. Most participants are not full-time
musicians serving large congregations. They serve smaller
communities on a part-time basis, earning their livelihood in
other ways. Many return year after year, paying their way out of
their own pockets and using a precious week of vacation time,
because they know that in the Mississippi Conference they will
find what they need to enable them to better serve God in their
Leslie Casaday served as Conference
Director from its inception until his death in 1995. Ellen
Johnston, Director of Music at All Saints' Episcopal Church in
Tupelo, Mississippi, who had served as Assistant Director since
1986, assumed the directorship of the conference in 1995.
The Executive Committee consists
of: The Rev. Tom Slawson, Rector, St. Philips Church, Jackson,
MS, and Chair, Committee on Music and Liturgy for the Diocese of
Mississippi; Dr. Mark Butler, Registrar; David O’Steen, St. Philip’s Church, Jackson, MS; Dr. Jeff McLelland, Independent Presbyterian, Birmingham, AL; the Rev. David
Christian, Associate, Chapel of the Cross, Madison, MS; the Very Rev. Joseph O. Robinson, Dean, St. Andrew's
Cathedral, Jackson, MS; Ellen Johnston, Conference Director,
Former Director of Music, All
Saints' Episcopal Church, Tupelo, MS.
Those who have served on the
faculty of the Mississippi Conference are among the very best in
church music and liturgy in the Episcopal Church: the Rev.
Dr. William Seth Adams, the Rt. Rev. Neil Alexander, Frank
Boles, Dr. Horace Boyer, Dr. Owen Burdick, the Rev. Geoffrey
Butcher, Lionel Dakers, Dent Davidson, the Rev. Dr. Carl Daw,
Judith Dodge, the Rev. Elizabeth Morris Downie, Mark Engelhardt,
Dr. David Farr, Carol Foster, Tom Foster, the Rev. Ann
Gillespie, Calvin Hampton, Marilyn Haskell, the Rev. Dr. John
Hooker, Dr. David Hurd, Ben Hutto, the Rev. Bruce Jenneker, the
Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, Marilyn Keiser, Larry King,
Michael Kleinschmidt, the Rt. Rev. Jeffery Lee, Dr. Alan
MacMillan, Joel Martinson, Monte Mason, Michael McCabe, the Rev.
Thomas McCart, the Rev. Bob McCloskey, the Rev. Michael
Merriman, Michael Messina, Dr. Sue Mitchell-Wallace, the Rev.
Dr. Clay Morris, Sam Batt Owens, Bruce Neswick, Thomas
Pavlechko, Dr. John Paul, Robert Powell, Richard Proulx, Charlie
Raines, John Repulski, Jeffrey Rickard, Marti Ridout, Dr.
William Bradley Roberts, the Rev. Joseph O. Robinson, the Very
Rev. Joy Rogers, the Rev. Everett Simson, K. Lee Scott, Dr.
Jeffrey Smith, the Rev. Susan Anderson-Smith, the Rev. Dr. Minka
Sprague, William Stokes, the Rev. Thomas Talley, the Rev. Carol
Wade, Richard Webster, the Rev. Dr. Paul Westermeyer, Dr. David
Ashley White, Mary K. Wilson, William Wunsch, Alec Wyton.