Gladys R. Moll Benfield
Now retired and living in Miamisburg, Ohio, near Kettering, Gladys Benfield taught piano and organ at Grand Ledge Academy from 1960-1966 and choir and classroom music, K-12, in the public schools in Michigan from 1966-1974. She was active in church music for nearly forty years, serving as an organist in Adventist, Lutheran and Methodist churches, and was an officer and board member of the Michigan branch of the American Guild of Organists.
Benfield is an active advocate for high standards in music, particularly as they relate to worship music. She served as president of the Michigan chapter of the SDA Church Musicians' Guild from 1978-1980, actively organizing chapters and arranging for festivals, workshops, mass choirs, and other activities.
When Albert Mayes, first president of the national SDA CMG, resigned in 1980 because of ill health, Benfield was elected as his successor. She provided effective leadership for the Guild for four years, organizing national conventions, overseeing continued fund raising for the Oliver S. Beltz endowed Chair of Sacred Music at the Andrews University Seminary, and promoting the idea of an office of church music at the General Conference level. She was honored for her contributions to the Guild at its 1984 national convention.
Gladys was born and raised in Michigan, one of four children and the only daughter of Martin and Alice Alberta Wesbrook Moll. She attended Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University, from 1943-1947 and then transferred to Union College where she graduated in 1948 with a BA in religion and music. Benfield completed a master's degree in music education at Michigan State University in 1974. She is married to Bayard Benfield, a retired dentist. They have two sons, Brent and Brooke.
Sources: Resume; Biographical sketch in the Church Musicians' Guild magazine, The Score (a 1984 issue, date unknown, 8); conversations with Gladys Benfield, 1983 and 2004; Motherís obituary, Lake Union Herald, 14 August 1956, 15; City Directories, Ancestory.com; personal knowledge.