Music Ministry

Mary McDonald at LBC!Mary McDonald Headshot.BW
March 26
  4:00 pm

Mary McDonald is well-known in sacred music. With a career that spans over forty years, her songs appear in the catalogs of every major publisher of church music. More than 1200 compositions through anthems, seasonal musicals and keyboard collections testify to her significant contribution to church music. No stranger to glass ceilings, her energy and charisma served her well when Mary became the first woman President of the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference. She recently retired from serving 36 years as accompanist for the Tennessee Men's Chorale, touring internationally to Brazil, England, Wales, and Italy.


In 2010, after serving as senior music editor for The Lorenz Corporation in Dayton, Ohio for more than twenty years, Mary resigned her position in order to serve the church in a different way. Now, she takes her tremendous passion and love for music making directly to churches as an independent artist. Since then, she has been in constant demand in churches across the nation for composer weekends as well as served as host for many of the top choral music dealer conferences in the United States and Canada.


Mary has performed three times on the grand stage of Carnegie Hall, both as pianist and conductor, most recently conducting the Festival of Christmas November of 2022. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, among them the prestigious John Ness Beck award, the Paul B. Clark Award for Excellence in Church Music, and the Lifetime Achievement award in Sacred Music. 

Mary and her husband of 43 years, Brian, a Knoxville architect, live on the scenic Douglas Lake in the heart of the Smoky Mountains in Dandridge. Tennessee. They have two married children and five grandchildren.


 Ephesians 5:19 outlines the foundation of our music ministry at Lakewood through the singing of Psalms (scripture), Hymns (the songs of the church written through the centuries) and Spiritual Songs (new songs of worship).  It is our intention to use each of these forms of music to magnify God in worship.  Psalm 33:3 speaks of playing skillfully.  Lakewood has an orchestra of 20 playing members in the more traditional service and a praise band which utilizes bass, electric, acoustic guitar, keyboard and drums in the contemporary service.  Psalm 150:1-5 encourages us to praise Him with the trumpet, the lute and harp, with tambourine and dancing, with the strings and flute, with loud clashing cymbals. Let everything that hs breath praise the Lord.  Psalm 13:6 expresses my heart.  "I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.   

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