I am, first and foremost, a follower and worshiper of Christ. My aim is to worship God in all that I do, but that worship is manifested most often in my music and in my writing, through the creative gifts He has given me .
My educational background is primarily in music. My degree is in music & psychology, from Tennessee Technological University. I am currently pursuing my M.Div at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary through the Nashville Extension Center.
Since August 2005, I have been employed as the Director of Instrumental Music at Stevens Street Baptist Church in Cookeville, TN. Prior to that, I had been the director of the SSBC worship orchestra on a volunteer basis for about five years. My primary responsibility at the church is the administration of our School of Performing Arts, where we provide Christ-centered private music education to about 100 students (and still growing!). I also direct the orchestra, compose and arrange music for choir & orchestra, fill in as occasional worship leader in the absence of our worship minister, and assist in various other ministries as needed. I have additionally begun writing occasional posts for the Worship Ministry Blog.
In March 2008 the Lord allowed me to marry the one He set aside for me. Laurie is the greatest blessing imaginable, outside of salvation itself! We gave birth to our first child in June 2009 and our second in May 2011, and are looking forward to what God has for us in the next great adventure: Parenthood!
My leisure time is mainly spent reading, watching hockey (Go Predators!), and practicing/performing music. I am currently a member of the cornet section in the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass, and always looking for more opportunities to perform!
About This Blog
This blog is an outlet for me to express things that God has placed on my heart to share with others. I write primarily about theological topics, but will occasionally delve into politics, music, current events, or some things that are just for fun! Whatever the topic, though, my goal is always to point readers to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by challenging the way they think, and by sharing testimony of what God has done in my life.
As earnestly as I try to keep this blog as honoring to the Lord as possible, I am a flawed human being, and am bound to make occasional mistakes. I humbly ask for the accountability of others to correct me when I have written something that is factually or contextually incorrect. Comments are always welcome here, but I do request that they always be respectful in tone, both to me and to other commenters. I reserve the right to edit comments for clarity or brevity, and to delete part or all of any comment that links or refers to another website or resource containing content that I deem inappropriate or unhelpful.
Finally, I should make the disclaimer that, while I am in full agreement with the doctrinal beliefs of my church, my words are my own. I do not speak or write on behalf of Stevens Street Baptist Church, and I am solely responsible for the content of this blog.
~ John Gardner