Born in Gary, West Virginia, Abbington received his musical education at Morehouse College (BA) and the University of Michigan (MMus, DMA). He is currently Associate Professor of Church Music and Worship at Candler School of Theology, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and adjunct professor of Church Music at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Abbington is a member of the historic Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta where he the Director of Music Ministries and Church Organist.
Abbington was Chair of the Core Committee for the historic One
Lord, One Faith, One Baptism: An African American Ecumenical Hymnal released
In 2015 Abbington was honored by
The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada by being named a Fellow of The
Hymn Society. This award, the highest honor given by the organization, was
conferred because of Abbington’s
work as a scholar, editor, and practitioner of church music with a particular
emphasis on African-American congregational song. He is the second Black to
receive this honor; the first was Harry T. Burleigh, pioneer of the arranged
and concert Negro spiritual in 1944.