Speakers and Musicians at Worship 4:24 Conference

Worship 424

Travis Cottrell

Travis CottrellTravis Cottrell serves as Worship Pastor at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee. For the last 15 years, he has also served as worship leader for Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live conferences, where he has been able to minister in all 50 states and in several other countries. His ministry is fueled by his desire to see this generation of the body of Christ come together in worship, and he longs for people to know, love, and worship the Maker and Lover of their souls. That’s his passion, and ministering to God’s people is his great privilege. He and his wife, Angela, have been married for 19 years and have three children.

Ben Mandrell

Ben MandrellBen Mandrell is the Senior Pastor at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee, a role he took after serving under the leadership of former pastor Phil Jett. He previously served on staff at Union University. Ben serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference, and is noted for his outreach to the university community of Jackson. His sermons are widely distributed through various media outlets and his mentorship of college students — especially those preparing for ministry — is well-known. Ben and his wife, Lynley, have been married for 12 years and have four children.

Steve Blanchard

Steve BlanchardSteve Blanchard serves as Director of Worship Ministries for the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana. He also serves as a Church Planting Multiplication and Equipping Regional Strategist with responsibilities in church planting and leadership development in central Indiana, including the Indianapolis metropolitan area. He also coordinates partnership missions for the state convention. Steve and his wife, Cathy, served as missionaries in South Korea from 1985–2000 with the International Mission Board, SBC. The Blanchards are the parents of three married daughters and have five grandchildren.

Paul Clark

Paul ClarkDr. Paul Clark, Jr., has served as Director of Worship and Music Ministries for the Tennessee Baptist Convention since 2000. He is a graduate of Union University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and holds a Doctor of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. Paul served for 26 years as a local church music minister for churches in Missouri, Kentucky, Kansas, Tennessee, and Georgia. Paul directs the Tennessee Men’s Chorale and Tennessee Ladies Chorus, and frequently serves as a clinician and conference leader at regional, state, and local events. In 2010, Paul authored a book on worship renewal through congregational singing titled Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Grace. He has written articles on worship and music for periodicals and maintains a weekly blog and email distribution for worship leaders. Paul and his wife, Ebbie, live in Franklin, Tennessee, and have three grown children and six grandchildren.

Alexis Cruz

Alexis CruzAlexis Crus is a Jazz Pianist, Arranger, Composer and Producer. After finishing an undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies at University of Miami, Alexis quickly went on the road and became the keyboard player and eventually the music director of Truth (Christian Music Group). After 4 years of living on the road and playing or recording with artists like 4Him, Russ Taff, Sandi Patti and Cece Winans, he left the road and made his home in Franklin, Tennessee. He resides there with his wife Angela and their two sons- Ben and Josh. He currently serves as a Worship Ministry Leader at ClearView Baptist Church in Franklin, TN. Also, on some weekends he serves as part of the Travis Cottrell Worship Band that tours and leads worship for the Living Proof Live events with Beth Moore. When he is not traveling, he can be found at home with his family or at church in his office-studio writing, arranging or producing music. Recently Alexis was able to visit Cuba with Global Missions. He developed a passion for the lost islanders and for the needs of the growing churches. One of his goals with this new project "Jazz and Hymns" is to raise money to purchase and deliver instruments to the island.

Daren Fulks

Daren FulksDaren Fulks is president of Production Communications Unlimited, LLC. He attended Cedarville College in the early 1990’s as a music and multimedia technologies major and received his BS in Worship and Christian Studies from The University of Mobile in Saraland, AL under the leadership of Roger Breland and Pete Sanchez. He attended and received certificates in Audio Engineering from The Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, OH. Daren has served as a Minister of Music and Media Director at several churches in Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, and Alabama. While being on church staff, Daren learned that churches could use a partner to assist them in better communicating the message that God has given to them. Production Communications Unlimited came about as a result of this need for partnership.

Steve Hamrick

Steve HammrickSteve Hamrick has been the Director of Music and Worship for the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA) since 2007. He received a B.A.E. degree from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, an M.C.M. degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate studies at Western Carolina University. Steve has spent over 30 years in church music ministry and loves and appreciates the local church. As part of IBSA’s Church Strengthening Team, Steve equips and encourages worship leaders from the state of Illinois in the areas of worship, music resources, and technical ministries. IBSA is made up of over 1,000 churches of great numeric, racial, and stylistic diversity. Steve and his wife, Linda, have three grown children.

Paul D. Hendrix Jr.

Paul D. HendrixAs a Production and Event Management Professional I have dedicated myself to being a self-motivated leader that thrives in high pressure, rapidly changing situations ensuring a seamless and flawless event. Event Management is more than just dealing with the logistics of the event. It is an opportunity to make the client successful. In 2012 the critical need for flawless execution of an event requires relationship skills as well as technical skills. The High Tech/High Touch aspect of my approach helps to make each participant in the event feel well prepared to be successful at their respective part. My client based approach has served the production community for over 20 years in the area of Event Production Management. I have done production and stage management on six of the seven continents of the world with organizations such as The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritans Purse International Relief, Turning Point Ministries, Capetown 2010, etc. Scores of individual artists such as Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, Flyleaf, Newsboys, Former President George HW Bush, former President Bill Clinton, former President Jimmy Carter and many, many others.

Austin Jaquith

Austin JaquithDr. Jaquith teaches courses in music theory, composition, and technology as well as having an active presence as a composer both locally and nationally. Recent performances of his compositions include Shades of Red, performed at the International Trumpet Guild’s 2010 Conference in Sydney, Australia; Kinesis by the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestra, Andy Moran conducting; Quintet for Brass by the Mirari Brass Quintet on their Southwest tour; and Blaze of Autumn by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Matthew Kraemer conducting.

Gary Jennings

Gary JenningsGary speaks to and trains hundreds of students and church leaders every year equipping them to make a difference in the world they live in. Gary also speaks in several churches each year in revivals, retreats and conferences to lead them into becoming more effective in reaching people in their communities for Jesus Christ. Gary is also church health strategist that helps campus ministries, churches, state conventions, and associations to be missional in the communities they live and serve. He uses an approach called Wildworks which is a collaborative learning strategy process that is accomplished through results-based conversations. Gary has developed and written The eXit Strategy which is an intentional relational evangelism strategy that has been used across the country and is being taught in Golden Gate Seminary in Denver. Gary loves connecting people who serve the Lord. He sees himself as a life networker by connecting people resources to serving Christ in effective models.
Gary is an accomplished keyboardist and vocalist. He leads worship from a keyboard in ways where people will be participants in worship, not spectators. People who worship under Gary’s leadership will have a fresh encounter experience. He has written several worship songs that he uses in worship as well. His desire in worship is to see people walk away from worship to be more in awe of Christ and to be compassionate missionaries to their communities.

Kevin Jones

Kevin JonesKevin, with a background in agriculture and a degree in Animal Science, has been putting his education to good use as Travis Cottrell's drummer and bandleader for the last eight years. He and his wife Ashley reside just outside of Nashville in Franklin, TN.

Christy Kohnle

Christy KohnleAs Christian Copyright Solutions’ (CCS) Director of Sales and Marketing, Christy’s mission is to help churches become fully copyright compliant. She works with individual ministries as well as partnering with large denominational groups. Christy writes monthly newsletters and Q-and-A articles, conducts webinars, and presents at conferences. Christy has been actively involved in church music throughout her life. Before joining CCS, Christy was a Christian songwriter, music publisher, and worship leader. In these roles, she became immersed in copyright issues and concerns from different perspectives, leading to her passion for helping the Church sort through this complex issue. Christy and her husband, Tony, have two children and live in Charleston, South Carolina.

Stan Loyd

Stan LoydStan Loyd serves as Interim Worship Pastor at Highland Baptist Church in Florence, Alabama, and President/CEO of RS Loyd Group. Stan has been a worship pastor and teacher for over 40 years and was previously on staff at LifeWay Worship in Nashville, Tennessee, for 13 years. Stan teaches worship and music courses at Liberty University and Blue Mountain College. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Nelda.

Josh Lyon

Josh LyonJosh Lyon is the Operations Manager and co-owner of Shift Worship. Shift creates visual media and short films for churches. Josh enjoys helping church media professionals and worship leaders grow in their ability to use media to tell stories and not just accent services. And in his role with Shift Worship, Josh helps to create stories that empower pastors and worship leaders to illustrate truth, inspire praise and motivate action.

Matt McCoy

Matt McCoy Matt McCoy is a worship leader and songwriter from Chicago, IL. He has served on staff at Willow Creek Community and Harvest Bible Chapel, and is also a founder of LoopCommunity.com He is an Ableton Certified Trainer and travels the country teaching churches and worship leaders about using technology in worship. He has been using loops and multi-tracks in worship for over 9 years.

Follow him on twitter: @loopcommunity or @mattmccoy
Follow him on Facebook: facebook.com/mattmccoymusic
Matt's Website: http://www.mattmccoymusic.com

Steve Merkel

Steve MerkelSteve Merkel is Senior Director of Resource Products at Integrity Music. He currently heads up the creative production of church resource product including iWorship, Songs 4 Worship and the Dove Award winning - Shout Praises Kids. As Integrity Music's Director of A&R, he has overseen recordings by Israel Houghton, Brian Doerksen, Don Moen, Robin Mark, Paul Wilbur and many others. An established songwriter, Steve has penned songs that have been recorded by many of today's top artists. His song, "Lord Have Mercy", recorded by Michael W Smith, was nominated for a Dove Award.

Luke McElroy

Luke McElroyLuke is the owner and founder of Orange Thread Media. Through his leadership, Orange Thread Media’s work has been seen worldwide on tours and events including American Idol, Lady Antebellum, Winter Jam and many more! Luke is also the visionary behind the Playback Media, TripleWide Media and the new SALT Nashville: The Visual Worship Conference. His passion for people and relationships is the driving force behind his love of training leaders on how to create excellent, innovative environments that impact lives. Luke currently resides in Nashville, TN and serves as the student ministry production coordinator at Fellowship Bible Church in Nashville, Tennessee.


Follow him on twitter: @lukemcelroy
Follow him on Instagram: LukeMcElroy
Google+:Luke McElroy

Jon Nicol

Kevin PerryJon Nicol is the worship pastor at Heartland Church in Lexington, OH. Besides leading his own worship ministry, he coaches, trains and encourages leaders and teams through live events, ebooks, videos and his blog. Jon’s writings and other resources can be found at WorshipMinistry.com and Musicademy.com. He's blessed beyond measure to be husband to Shannon and father to Aedan (7), Addison (5), Corbin (15 months) and a new baby girl arriving at the end of January.

Kevin Perry

Kevin PerryKevin is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and is currently attending Dallas Theological Seminary for a masters in christian leadership. While in college he served for 3 years with the North Carolina Baptist State Convention's youth evangelism division in the area of music. After college Kevin traveled playing guitar and singing with Christian artists Jeni Varnadeau and Erin O'Donnell while also serving 2 years on the Integrity Music worship team for FamilyLife's "I Still Do" one-day marriage events. Kevin has worked in music production with Integrity Music, Brentwood-Benson Music and Lifeway Christian Resources. He has produced cd's for churches and independent worship leaders nationwide as well as working with Travis Cottrell, FFH, Mandisa, Sarah Groves, Geoff Moore, Jennifer Rothschild and others. For the past 14 years Kevin has served alongside author Beth Moore as a member of the worship team with Travis Cottrell for her "Living Proof Live" events. Kevin and his wife Alicia were married in 2000 and have two children, Karleigh and Ella Lynd.

Beth Porter

Beth PorterA native Texan, Professor Porter toured Southern France with Maestro Robert Shaw, performing as soprano soloist in Bach’s B MINOR MASS and Brahms’ LIEBESLIEDER WALTZES. She sang in the North American Premiere of Mendelssohn's opera DER ONKLE AUS BOSTON under the direction of Maestro Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival and was the soprano soloist for their 2007 production of KING DAVID. In 2004, she was invited to be the featured soloist at the White House National Day of Prayer ceremony where she sang for President George W. Bush and 200 of his invited guests.

Chris Sammond

Christ SammondSince 1997, Dr. Chris Sammond has served as a worship leader in churches in Tennessee, Georgia, and currently at New Hope Baptist Church in Loveland, Ohio. Previously, Chris taught music and drama for several years in public and private schools and entertained a short career in radio. Chris received his D.W.S. from The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies and an M.M.E. and B.M. from Belmont University. A strong advocate of worship-leading choirs, Chris has sung in choirs for Don Moen, Lenny LeBlanc, Paul Baloche, and others. He is an adjunct music professor at Ohio Mid-Western College. He and his wife, Erika, are parents to Tony, Noah and Chloe.

Ron Upton

Ron UptonRon was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and was raised in a Christian home. He trusted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord as a Junior in high school. Having been called of God in 1980, he was licensed to the gospel ministry in 1982 at Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee, and was ordained at Bellevue in 1984. After earning two master’s degrees, the Master of Church Music (1983) and the Master of Arts in Religion and Education (1982), Ron received his Doctor of Ministry from Luther Rice Seminary in 1999. Dr. Upton has served as Minister ▪ Music & Worship at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida, since 1986, with the purpose of prompting a multi-generational, multi-cultural body of believers to worship the Lord Jesus Christ in unity, spirit, and truth. He and his wife Miska have three grown children: Ethan, Marét, and Nathan.

Wes Willett

Wes WillettWes Willett is a musician, singer and songwriter whose talents brought him to Nashville more than a decade ago. Now a seasoned stage and studio musician, Wes has earned the respect of several artists in the Nashville community. Wes found notable success as one of the six members of the band Sunday Drive in the late 1990’s and has since went on to perform and play for Chris Rice, CeCe Winans, Jaci Valesquez, Mandisa, Kenny Loggins, Anthony Evans, Shaun Groves and many others. Most recently, Wes played bass on Travis Cottrell’s 2010 Dove Award winning live DVD entitled “Jesus Saves Live.” Today, he continues to travel with Travis Cottrell who leads worship at the Beth Moore Livign Proof Live conferences.

Doug Whitney

Doug Whitney 15 years ago Doug left his teaching career to begin a new season in the church media world. High School biology teacher and soccer coach to church media staff. Sounds crazy right. Over the last 15 years Doug has been involved in every facet of production in audio, lighting and video. Today he is the Creative Services Director at Woodstock First Baptist Church. He leads the church’s creative team responsible for marketing, graphic design, website development, social media, video production and lighting design.

Beyond the technical creative stuff, Doug is committed to his family. He has been married to his best friend Christi for 17 years and they have two sons, Justin 11 and Liam 10. When Doug is not working at Woodstock you will most likely find him in another country around the world on mission speaking and sharing with students.