Bishop Joel N. Martinez is the grandson of sharecropper farmers who came to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. He was the first of his family to graduate from college and received degrees culminating in a Master of Divinity degree in 1965 from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He was ordained an elder in the Rio Grande Conference and served for over 20 years in pastoral appointments in Texas and New Mexico. After serving with the General Board of Global Ministries and as a district superintendent, he was elected as bishop of the United Methodist church in 1992. Since retiring in 2008, Bishop Martinez has served as Interim General Secretary of the GBGM and has chaired the Council of Bishops’ Task Force on Ministry with the Poor.
Raquel Mora Martinez, born in a Methodist parsonage in Mexico, has a degree in Music Education from UTEP and a Master of Sacred Music from Perkins School of Theology at SMU. She also holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln. She served as editor of the Spanish Language United Methodist Hymnal Mil Voces Para Celebrar and has made contributions to many other United Methodist resources. She has a rich history of leadership roles with the General Board of Global Ministries (Women’s Division), on the 2010 Hymnal Revision Committee, and as a consultant with the United Methodist Publishing House and General Board of Discipleship.
Dr. Diana Sanchez-Bushong is currently the Director or Worship and Music at Westlake United Methodist Church in Austin, Texas. She oversees 11 musical groups and helps develop the weekly worship services. She has also served on the Annual Conference Music and Worship committee which plans Annual Conference worship each year and on the national council The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music & Worship Arts. She is a graduate of UT at Austin with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting. She is also a graduate of SMU Perkins School of Theology where she earned a Masters of Sacred Music and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting through Meadows School of the Arts. Previously Dr. Sanchez-Bushong served as the Director of Church Music Resources at the General Board of Discipleship, Section on Worship. She was a staff consultant to the Hymnal Revision Committee which developed The United Methodist Hymnal, 1989, and to the United Methodist Book of Worship, 1992. Dr. Sanchez-Bushong continues to write and lead workshops in the field of global music.