National Baptist Music Convention
- Roxanne R. Reed
The National Baptist Convention, USA (NBC) was organized in 1895 in an effort to unite, at the national level, the growing numbers of black Baptists in the United States. Its general objectives were domestic and foreign missions, education, and the publication and dissemination of religious literature. Structurally, the NBC operated through several Boards, each with specifically defined duties. A music department was introduced into the Convention in 1916 as part of the Baptist Young Peoples Union (BYPU) and Sunday School Board, under the direction of Lucie Eddie Campbell. The Convention published Gospel Pearls (1921), a songbook intended to accompany the music and worship services of black Baptists. While not wholly endorsed by the more conservative members of the Convention leadership, Thomas A. Dorsey introduced his gospel blues songs to the Convention in 1932. Under strict supervision of the Music Committee, which included Campbell, the Convention developed into the premiere performance venue for gospel singers. Gospel composers also capitalized on the outlet to demonstrate and sell compositions. The NBC established the National Baptist Music Convention (NBMC, ...