University of Mobile Professor Shares Gospel through Music in China with Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

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MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile professor and accomplished trombonist Kenn Hughes travelled with the well-known Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) for the 2017 Music Celebration in China.

For over 100 years, the Graham family has held deep ties with Christians in China, particularly in Huai’an, so the opportunity to travel with BGEA in February was especially meaningful for Hughes.

“I’m thankful for people who love to share the good news of Jesus Christ and grateful to be part of an incredible movement in China,” reflected Hughes.

Hughes once served as music director for the Dove Award-winning group Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, and while in China, the group reunited with Hughes to perform at three separate BGEA services.

During the celebration, Billy Graham’s grandson Will served as a speaker. One service was held at Huai’an Christian Church and two others were held at Xuan’De (Hudson Taylor Memorial) Church in Zhenjiang, China. Thousands of Chinese Christians were present for these services, and according to Hughes, many made decisions to become Christians.

“It was a great experience to witness hundreds of lives receive Christ through the evangelistic services,” said Hughes.

While in China, Hughes was also given the opportunity to collaborate with the Shanghai Disneyland Band that performs five days a week in the park.

“A friend of mine in Orlando heard I was going to be in Shanghai with the BGEA,” said Hughes regarding the opportunity.

This friend is Bob Franklin, who is responsible for the inception of performing groups at Disney World in Orlando, including Future Corps that performed in EPCOT.

For two months in early 2016, Franklin spent time putting together the Shanghai Disneyland Band and working with musicians there. So when he discovered Hughes would be in Shanghai, Franklin contacted the band. They invited Hughes to work with them and collaborate on musical approaches to American music.

In addition to teaching at the university, Hughes is the director of RamCorps and other instrumental studies for the Alabama School of the Arts at University of Mobile. RamCorps performs over 120 concerts a year in various venues across the country. The group has also performed internationally under Hughes’s direction, playing in places like Sochi, Russia during the Olympics. The ensemble also performed alongside other Christian artists aboard the MSC Divina for the K-Love Cruise.


About University of Mobile:
University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author
Heath Vester

Heath Vester

As web designer, Heath is responsible for UM’s web presence. He is also a freelance graphic designer and photographer, but most importantly, he is a Mobilian. He was born and raised on the Alabama Gulf Coast. His design style is shaped by the outdoors as well as southern culture, and is met with a personal love for simplicity and clean lines. Heath is the Co-Founder and Senior Designer of Bellum Creative Group. He is passionate about growing the creative community in Mobile. Additionally, Heath is the Vice President of AIGA Mobile. His focus is making a difference in his community by building relationships with other artist and creatives.

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