The Humans in Charge
Rev. Dr. Garth Baker-Fletcher
Minister of Worship
Garth Baker-Fletcher is our new Minister of Worship. He is a person whose musical abilities have been refined and honed by exposure to many traditions of music – from playing classical piano since the age of five to singing in the Cleveland Orchestra’s Children Chorus as a seventh and eighth grader; to playing violin in the Junior Division orchestra at the National Music Camp; and playing trombone in his high school band as
a ninth grader. Yet he has ever gravitated to choral music – singing the great masterpieces of Beethoven and Mahler with the Boston Symphony Orchestra while attending the New England Conservatory of Music; conducting the Everett Mass Choir during that same time; and ultimately conducting his first choral and orchestral oratorio “The Psalms” at Brookline Parish of Massachusetts.
When he was matriculating at Harvard Divinity School he became a founding member of the Harvard Jubilee Singers, a group that recorded both traditional spirituals and original music. After receiving a Master of Divinity he was ordained in the American Baptist Church. Writing his dissertation Somebodyness: The Theory of Dignity in the Thought of Martin Luther King, Jr., he earned a Doctor of Theology from Harvard
Divinity School. Garth taught Christian ethics at the Christian Theological Seminary of Indianapolis and Claremont School of Theology in southern California during the 1990s.
After his wife gained a wonderful professorship in systematic theology at Perkins School of Theology at SMU, he taught Bible and religious studies at the HBCU Texas College in Tyler, Texas.
After twenty years of teaching, Garth faced a grueling nine operations on both hips between 2014 and 2018. After showing his musical scores to Prof. Marcell Steuernagel, head of the Master of Sacred Music degree program at Perkins, he was encouraged to study composition. Garth received a Magna Cum Laude for the MSM in December 2021, as well as receiving awards as an exemplary Christian music leader. This last
year he has been Tenor Choral Scholar and Composer-in Residence at the Northway Christian Church of Highland Park. Loving the many styles and forms of church music, Garth hopes to bring together our many cultures and experiences into a rainbow of music to glorify Jesus Christ at Trinity UMC.
Garth is married to Dr. Karen Baker-Fletcher, Professor of Systematic Theology at Perkins School of Theology at SMU. They have two grown children.