Dwight Andrews is a native of Detroit, Michigan and a product of the Detroit Public Schools System. He graduated from Cass Technical High School and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music from the University of Michigan. He continued his studies at Yale University, receiving a Master of Divinity degree in 1977 and his Ph. D. in Music Theory in 1993. He was ordained into the Christian ministry in 1978 by the United Church of Christ. His ordination was held at Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit where his first interests in ministry were shaped and nurtured by the Reverend Nicholas Hood, Sr. and the Reverend Roger Miller.
Andrews served as Associate Pastor of Christ’s Church at Yale University’s Battell Chapel for ministry to the minority communities there. For over a decade he served as minister at the Black Church at Yale and pastored several generations of Yale students and faculty as well as members of the greater New Haven community. He has also served as Interim Minister at Faith Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut and Plymouth Congregational Church in Beaumont, Texas.
His biggest accomplishment at Yale however, was meeting his wonderful wife, Desiree Pedescleaux of Baton Rouge. She was a graduate student in Political Science and an active lay leader in the campus ministry there. They were married in 1988 and Dr. Pedescleaux is now an Associate Professor of Political Science at Spelman College. Andrews continues the tradition of First Church ministers John Clarence Wright and Homer McEwen by being committed to both pastoring and teaching. He has lectured extensively throughout the United States and is an Associate Professor of Music at Emory University. In addition, Dr. Andrews has taught at Rice and Harvard Universities. In 1996 he was named the first Quincy Jones Visiting Professor of African American Music at Harvard.
Yale was a rich environment for Andrews, intellectually, spiritually, and artistically. During the “New Haven years,” he taught in Yale’s music department and Afro American Studies program and was selected by director and Dean of the Yale Drama School, Lloyd Richards, to serve as Resident Music Director of the Yale Repertory Theatre (1979-1986). The result of this particular opportunity led to a productive long-standing relationship with Richards and playwright August Wilson. Andrews served as the music director for the Broadway productions of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, the Piano Lesson, and Seven Guitars. He has also been associated with playwrights Pearl Cleage and Thulani Davis and film maker Louis Massiah. He has created music for film and dance and, as a saxophonist and sideman, been recorded on over twenty albums and performed throughout the U. S. , Europe, and Iceland. Reverend Andrews views his preaching, teaching, community work and music, as discrete parts of a single public ministry. In each of these capacities he thinks of himself, first and foremost, as a minister. This perspective informs the way he performs his duties in the pulpit, the classroom, and on the concert stage. Andrews carries his ministry wherever he goes and is grateful that God continues to provide him with wonderful opportunities for ministry— within the walls of the church and without.