About Me

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, and I am currently pursuing my M.Div at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In October 2015, I accepted the call to become the Worship Pastor at the First Baptist Church in Powell, TN, a suburb of Knoxville. Prior to that, I spent 16 years serving in various capacities at Stevens Street Baptist Church in Cookeville, TN. Both congregations are dear to me, and the Lord has blessed me greatly in my service to each. My wife Laurie and I are enjoying life in our new city with our three children, Nate, Carrie, and Nora.

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 has evolved quite a bit since it began in 2009, reflecting my personal growth and changing interests. Its content ranges from theological and political musings to book reviews and cultural commentary. 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. You’ll also find some of my writing at a separate website devoted to the study of hymns: Systematic Hymnology.

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 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 FBC Powell, and I am solely responsible for the content of this blog.

~ John Gardner

11 comments on “About Me

  1. Karen Jones says:

    Hi from Bryn’s mom. I have just read your Eschatology entries and I am so glad to read some one else that I can truly say I am in agreement on the way you are leaning towards what America is and will become in the end. God bless you and your family.

  2. Hey John,
    It is great to see that you’ve got this blog going. You have number of topics going. I’m looking forward to poking around in your material.

    Thanks for your comments on the Phos Hilaron. It is good to know that someone actually read that.

    I pray that you and your family have a restful night.

    God bless, Jonathan

  3. Matt Figura says:

    Hello John,

    I stumbled (in God’s providence!) on your blog via Amazon’s webpage for “Church Planting is for Wimps”. I was reading the reviews of the book and noticed you live in Cookeville. I couldn’t resist making contact, especially since I am a church planter here in Cookeville! I pastor Faith Presbyterian Church, a tiny church plant of the OPC (Machen’s denomination!).

    Anyway, I just wanted to make contact with you and wish you all the best in your marriage, parenting, and other endeavors. May the Lord richly bless you and yours.

    By Grace Alone,
    Matt Figura

  4. I was reading your review of Christianity and Liberalism and saw you were from Cookeville, TN. I interviewed for a professor position at Tennessee Tech in the middle 80’s. My wife and I were impressed with the area but God had a better plan for us.
    May God bless you and this ministry.

    Jerry K. Jackson Ph.D.

  5. Cathy Wilson says:

    Hi John,
    I enjoyed the video that points out the differences between Great Britain, England, and the United Kingdom. It’s good info that I’ve never had much of a handle on and it was explained it really well. My only criticism is that it is done so fast that you can end up noticing how quickly it’s being explained more than the information that’s being given,… wish he could redo it and slow it down because I’d guess that a lot of people would like to listen to it more.
    I want to read more of your blog. It looks really interesting, but gotta come back to it later. Blessings, Cathy

  6. So appreciate your transperancy

  7. Dwight Wages says:

    John, I did not know you were putting together a schedule of events in the area………..but thanks for spreading the news about the SSSB and our concerts. Great to have you in the group, and your readers will want to know about the great concert series we will be doing for our 5th anniversary season.

    Dwight Wages

  8. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_at_ep_srch?ie=UTF8&search-alias=books&field-author=Luther+Butler&sort=relevancerank
    This should take you to my novels at Amazon. Some of the books are attempts to pick up on Biblical accounts which are different from the studies we did at Southern Baptist Seminary at Louisville and my under graduate studies in the Baptist Chair of Religion at Eastern New Mexico University. Anyway, I enjoy reading Honey and Locusts Blogs even though my thinking is different at my 83rd year. God Bless, Luther Butler, Stephenville, Texas.

  9. I do want to clarify that the novels built loosely on the Bible are not my beliefs. Mostly fiction with a purpose in the Red Heifer.

  10. Greetings! I found your blog through your review of “the Book of the Dun Cow” on amazon. Cun Cow is one of my favorite books and is one I read every few years along with it’s sequel “the Book of Sorrows”. Thank you for writing your review, and also thanks for this blog! I will return and I am now following you on Twitter.

    Thank you for thinking about spiritual things the way you do. I’m writing you because, based on the flavor of your blog and your taste in books, I think you’d really enjoy reading my wife’s book: Tales From A Spacious Place by Elizabeth Frerichs (http://amzn.com/B00AAQOO6K). This book is a collection of short stories all tied together by themes of sanctification. In each story, the character is confronted by an insurmountable problem (i.e. bitterness, working to much, addiction and self image) and finally asks for help. The way God answers those “help me” prayers are the adventure in the book. I hope you’ll consider reading it.

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