AbbingtonAssociate Professor of Church Music and Worship James Abbington has been selected as a Fellow of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, the highest honor the organization bestows. Abbington, a past member of the society’s Executive Committee, is only the second African American in history to be named a Fellow of The Hymn Society and the first since 1944. Other past recipients include Carlton R. Young, professor emeritus of church music at Candler.

Fellows are selected yearly by the society’s executive committee and are announced at the group’s annual conference, held this year in New Orleans, July 12-16. Fellows may include authors of hymns, composers of hymn tunes, editors of hymn books, and recognized scholars in the field of hymnology. Founded in 1922, The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada aims to encourage, promote, and enliven congregational singing.