Sally Messner

Institute’s Schola Director (2019-2021)

Sally Messner is the Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of South Lyon (Michigan) and is founding musical director of the Elm Ensemble, a liturgical project bringing together professional and amateur musicians with great sacred music to help keep the church in dialogue with diverse voices from Christian history. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Valparaiso University(’02) in Indiana and a Master of Sacred Music from Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota.


Mary Louise Bringle

Hymn Commission for Institute 2020 – Text writer

Mary Louise (Mel) Bringle is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion and coordinator of interdisciplinary studies at Brevard College in Brevard, NC. Her Ph.D. in practical and pastoral theology is from Emory University. An award-winning hymn writer whose original texts and translations appear in the hymnals of numerous denominations in North America and Scotland, she has served as President of The Hymn Society in the US and Canada and as chair of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song, responsible for creating the hymnal Glory to God. She is a ruling elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville, NC.


Sally Ann Morris

Hymn Commission for Institute 2020 – Musician

Sally Ann Morris lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1990, she discovered the joy of composing hymn tunes, and has now written more than 150 which are published in three collections from GIA Publications, Giving Thanks in Song and Prayer (1998), …to sing the Artist’s praise…(2009), and Spread the Good News, (2016). Her tunes appear in Glory to God, Community of Christ Sings, Gather Comprehensive II and III, Worship IV, the New Century Hymnal, The Hymnal 21 in Japan, Church Hymnary 4 of the Church of Scotland and in other current and forthcoming denominational hymnals, collections, and supplements. More about her life and work may be found in The Canterbury Dictionary of American Hymnology.

Sally serves as Musician in Residence at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity where she leads, enlivens, encourages, demonstrates and teaches the diverse wealth of congregational song for twice weekly chapel services.