Harry Eskew taught on the faculty of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for 36 years, retiring in 2001, when he moved to Macon, Georgia for his wife, Dr. Margaret H. Eskew, to join the faculty of Mercer University. They are members of the First Baptist Church of Macon. The Eskews have a son, and daughter and a 3-year old granddaughter who live in New Orleans. He was Professor of Music History and Hymnology and also served as the seminary’s Music Librarian. He has been part-time minister of music of churches in South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Maryland.
He was born and grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He served on the committees for the Baptist hymnals of 1975 and 1991. He and the late Hugh T. McElrath are co-authors of a widely used hymnology textbook, Sing with Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Hymnology (Church Street Press, 2nd ed. 1995). He along with David W. Music and Paul A. Richardson authored the book, Singing Baptists: Studies in Baptist Hymnody in America (Church Street Press, 1994). He has a special interest in early American hymns of the Sacred Harp shape-note tradition. He is one of the founders of the Middle Georgia Sacred Harp Singing that meets in April each year in Macon. He has taught Hymnology at Mercer University. In 2008 a number of his former students and friends published Hymnology in the Service of the Church: Essays in Honor of Harry Eskew (Morning Star Music, St. Louis, MO).