John A. Dalles

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John A. Dalles is a clergyman and hymnwriter who was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Penn State, Lancaster Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry), he is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Having served the First Presbyterian Church of South Bend, Indiana[1] and the Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church[2] (in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), since 1997 he has served as Senior Pastor of Wekiva Presbyterian Church in Longwood, Florida (a suburb of Orlando).

As a part of his ministry there, Wekiva Presbyterian Church was the first church in the United States to offer live webcasts of its worship services, an ongoing ministry inaugurated on Sunday, January 2, 2005.[3]

Dalles is known as a prolific writer of texts for hymns. His hymns have been published in hymnbooks used by denominations in the United States, Canada and Australia. He has published three collections of hymns, Come, O Spirit (Educational Ministries, Inc.), Swift Currents and Still Waters (GIA Publications, 2000) and We Turn To God (Wayne Leupold Editions, 2010). His hymn texts have also been set as choral anthems by sacred composers john Ferguson, Glenn Rudolph,[4] John S. Dixon,[5] Dorothy Frisch, and others, published by Oxford University Press, MorningStar,[6] Hinshaw,[7] GIA Publications, Selah[8] and Wayne Leupold Editions.[9]

Among his commissioned hymns are those for Presbyterian Heritage Sunday (Praise God for Days Long Past), Augsburg College, Goshen College, Maryville College, Tusculum College, Wilson College and Knox College, University of Toronto, American University, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Lancaster Theological Seminary, the 250th anniversary of the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Peachtree Presbyterian Church and the Lutheran World Federation.

His best known hymns are: "Come, O Spirit",[10][11] "God Bless Your Church with Strength",[12][13] "Bless the Ones who Nurture Children",[14] "O God, Behold Your Family Here",[15] and "Make Music for Your Lord to Hear". He has been honored as the winner of a number of hymn searches and contests. His 1985 hymn "O God of Love Grant Us Your Peace"[16] was a co-winner, along with a hymn by Timothy Dudley-Smith in The Hymn Society's search for new hymns on world peace. His hymns were selected in searches for the 30th anniversary of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians ("Celebrate the Gift of Music"), as well as for the Self-Development of People ("Celebrate Hope").[17]

His 2009 hymn, "God Bless the Work Your People Do" was chosen as the winning hymn in the 14th annual Macalester Plymouth United Church Hymn Contest.[18][19][20]

He is a Life Member of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.[21]

He is married to the former Judith Taylor; they have a son, John Taylor Dalles and a daughter, Anne Elizabeth Dalles.[22]


  1. ^ "First Presbyterian Church South Bend FPCSB". Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived October 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Dalles, John A. (2010-04-10). "Transformations and Whispers: Live Worship Webcasts - A Wekiva Presbyterian First". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  4. ^ "Reindeer Music". Reindeer Music. 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  5. ^ "The Music of John S. Dixon". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  6. ^ "MorningStar Music Publishers". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  7. ^ "Hinshaw Music, Inc". 2009-02-04. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  8. ^ "Selah Publishing Co. - Selah helps successful church musicians". Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  9. ^ "Wayne Leupold Editions". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  10. ^ Presbyterian Hymnal, #127
  11. ^ LindaJo McKimm, The Presbyterian Hymnal Companion, pp. 106-107
  12. ^ The Presbyterian Hymnal, #418
  13. ^ The Presbyterian Hymnal Companion, p. 290
  14. ^ Marva J. Dawn, Is It a Lost Cause?: Having the Heart of God for the Church's Children, p. 1
  15. ^ "Unknown" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  16. ^ "O God of Love, Grant Us Your Peace". Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  17. ^ "Self-Development of People (SDOP) — Mission and Ministry — GAMC" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  18. ^ Jerry L. Van Marter (April 6, 2010). "News About People". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  19. ^ Lori L. Van Ingen (April 10, 2010). "Hymn Contest Winner Has Ties Here". Archived from the original on April 18, 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  20. ^ Deb Loftis. "The Hymn Society News and Views". Retrieved 2012--12.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  21. ^ "John Dalles Biography- GIA Publications". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  22. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 

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