W. Hines Sims

Church Music, 1928

W. Hines Sims was born in Urania, Louisiana, in 1907, but spent his formative years in Texas where his father pastored several Baptist churches. Sims entered Simmons College in 1923 and was a member of the original Cowboy Band. He earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Simmons in 1928, the Bachelor of Music degree from Centenary College in 1937, and the Master of Arts from George Peabody College in 1946.

Sims was hired as assistant secretary of the Church Music Department of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board in 1946. In 1952 he became the Secretary of the Department, a post he held with distinction until his retirement in 1970. Under the leadership of Sims the Church Music Department established music ministry as a focal point in Southern Baptist churches. He helped to create the state music secretary organizational structure and established Music Weeks at Ridgecrest and Glorieta Baptist Assemblies. He spearheaded the beginning of graded choir programs which became the hallmark of music education in Baptist churches. Sims was the founding editor of The Church Musician and served as editor of the 1956 Baptist Hymnal, which became the most widely used hymnal in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention. He helped to elevate the position of music minister to full-time ministry, and he established the model for church music used throughout the Convention.

Hardin-Simmons University recognized Sims by granting him an honorary Doctor of Music degree in 1948. He was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1975. The Sims Hymnal Collection was established in 1983 with the gift of his personal collection of hymnals to the Smith Music Library.

Dr. Sims married Lola Riley in 1930, and, after her death in 1935, he married Ann Brown. They raised three daughters. He died April 30, 1997.

Hardin-Simmons University proudly honors the life of W. Hines Sims.