Worship Design Collective Meet the Authors | Seedbed
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Meet the Collective


Uday Balasundaram

Uday Balasundaram

Uday is the founder of the Academy for Creativity, Research, & Design, a pilot program aimed at developing leaders and resourcing the church to creatively engage their communities for mission. After a decade-long career as a sought after musician in India, Uday decided to pursue graduate work at Asbury Seminary. He holds a PhD in Intercultural Studies and teaches as an adjunct faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary, Houston, as well as Houston Graduate School of Theology. Uday has served as a worship pastor at several churches in the US and India. He is married to Sujatha and they have two daughters, Nadira and Aradhya.

Mark Benjamin

Mark Benjamin

Mark is the Worship Arts Pastor at Asbury UMC in Raleigh. He holds an M.A. in Christian Leadership, and worked with worship arts and discipleship at George Fox University in Oregon previously. He has recently begun work on a DMIN from Asbury Seminary. He is married to Erin and has five children- Silas, John-Ezra, Myla, Rowan and Isaac.

Patrick Bourckel

Patrick Bourckel

Patrick is the Director of Worship and Administration at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in the Los Angeles area. He attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he concentrated his studies on worship and liturgy. His wife, Jenette, was a voice major at Wheaton College, where the two met while singing in choir together. They have one son, Peter, and a daughter on the way!

Drew Causey

Drew Causey

Drew is the Pastor of Worship and Arts at Hope Community Church in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Arts in Performance Studies and Cultural Ethnography. He also holds a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. Check out Drew’s excellent blog at drewcausey.com and follow him on Twitter @drewcausey.

Adam Kurihara

Adam Kurihara

Adam is the director of music and worship at Trinitarian Congregational Church in Wayland, MA, where he makes music that proclaims the Gospel and helps people see Jesus. In addition to leading Sunday worship, he directs the worship team, the choir, small ensembles, and runs a seasonal concert series. Adam studied composition, piano, and choral conducting at UC Santa Barbara, and moved to Boston in 2010 to study sacred music at BU’s School of Theology. Of all the music he’s played and sung, Bach has preached the gospel to him the clearest. He lives with his wife Rachel and puppy Lucy in Jamaica Plain, MA, and you can find more about him at his personal blog [www.adamkurihara.com].

Jon Myles

Jon Myles

Jon lives in Auburn, AL with his wife Kathy and two children, Sam and Mae. He is a worship leader at Cornerstone Church and is one third of the worship trio The Hedgerow Folk. He has played a role in leading worship in multiple churches throughout the southeast since coming to know the Lord in 1997. Jon graduated from Auburn with a degree in Education and after teaching for 8 years sensed a calling to move back into leading worship full time. He has a passion for music and for using it as a tool to lead people into abiding with Jesus.

Kory Pence

Kory Pence

Professional collaborator. Amateur chef. Being made new. Creative director @wesleyanchurch. I believe in simplicity and the power of transformational stories. Working in the world of non-profit design and brand strategy. Creating collaborative environments where worship and art dangerously expose hearts to receive God’s love.

Branden Petersen

Branden Petersen

Branden is a worship leader, pastor, teacher, and aspiring jazz musician living in Dallas, TX. Branden currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Sent Church. Prior to this position, Branden served as its Worship Pastor for 13 years. Branden is an accomplished music producer, musician, and teacher. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. He holds a Bachelor of Music from The University of Northern Iowa, an MBA from Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and a Master Certificate in Music Production from Berklee College of Music.

Jenn Petersen

Jenn Petersen

Jenn is a singer/songwriter, worship leader and private music teacher who lives in the Dallas area. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Northern Iowa and has studied songwriting with the Berklee School of Music. She travels around the world singing and leading worship, and some of her songs have been sung as far as Africa, Asia, and Australia. She also writes for the Annesley Writers Forum. Her favorite role is wife to Branden and mom to their two children, Aidan & Emma.

Jonathan Powers

Jonathan Powers

Jonathan serves with his wife, Faith, and daughter, Audrey, as the director of student ministries for World Gospel Mission at Asbury University, where he is also an adjunct professor of Christian Ministries and Worship Arts. In 2013, he received a Doctorate in Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Orange Park, FL. Jonathan also helps with musical leadership and worship design in the Offerings Community of First United Methodist Church, Lexington, KY. Jonathan is the author of 12 Days of Christmas Sermons, and co-author with Jason Jackson and Teddy Ray of Echo: A Catechism for Discipleship in the Ancient Traditionboth published by Seedbed.

Brian Rhea

Brian Rhea

Brian pastors Fourth United Methodist Church in Millville, New Jersey. He and his wife Jan have three young children. He’s studied Scripture at Asbury Seminary, Princeton Seminary, and Boston College.

Omar Rikabi

Omar Rikabi

Omar is a United Methodist Pastor serving in North Texas. When not telling stories, Omar likes to watch movies with his wife Jennifer, read books with his three daughters, and work in the kitchen cooking and grilling for family and friends. You follow him on Twitter @omarrikabi or visit his blog omarrikabi.com.

Matthew Sigler

Matthew Sigler

Matthew is Assistant Professor of Wesleyan Theology and United Methodist Liaison at Seattle Pacific University. He holds a PhD in liturgical studies from Boston University where his work focused on the history of Methodist worship as well as lyrical theology. Prior to coming to SPU, Matt served for twelve years as a music minister in the church. He is married to Shannon and has a four-year-old son, Elijah.

Shannon Sigler

Shannon Sigler

Shannon is a visual artist, theologian, and arts administrator. Her art and research center around a Wesleyan paradigm for the visual arts, as well as explorations in feminism, Christian vocation, and family life. Shannon currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Institute for theology and Northwest Culture. Learn more about her work at shannonsigler.com.

Emily Vermilya

Emily Vermilya

Emily serves as the Pastor of Worship Arts and Ministry Development at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, IN. She also serves as a faculty member at The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies (Orange Park, FL) and as an Adjunct Professor of Worship at Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, IN). Her primary job, however is to be a wife to her husband, Jim and mom to her two children, Silas and Aynsley.

Elizabeth Rhyno

Elizabeth Rhyno

Elizabeth Rhyno is passionate about investing in leaders of the Church. Her desire is to shepherd people to worship freely in spirit and in truth. Elizabeth holds a BMus from Dalhousie University, and an MA in Ministry from Lee University. Wife to Scott and mom to three teenagers (sons Mackenzie & Morgan, and daughter Grace), Elizabeth aims to approach daily life, teaching, leading, songwriting, mentoring and writing with spiritual formation consistently in view. Elizabeth and her family reside in Fishers, Indiana.

Jason McAnally

Jason McAnally

Jason is husband to Melissa (herself a gifted worship leader), dad to Ella, and pastor and planter of Home Church Nashville, a new UM church getting started in Nashville, TN. He was a songwriter and worship leader before becoming a preacher and has a heart to invest in musicians, artists, and creatives. He has a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary with a focus on Biblical Studies and has completed extensive training in church leadership and church planting. You can find him and the new church on social media here: @jasonmcanally, @homechurchnash.

Justin Morgan

Justin Morgan

Justin is the Campus Pastor of Church on Morgan, a multi-site community of Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, NC and holds a M.Div from Duke Divinity School and a M.S.W. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He and his wife Nicole have two children, Levi and Stella.

Emily Barlow

Emily Barlow

Emily lives in Long Beach, Mississippi with her husband, Ben, and their three kids, Sadie, Joe, and Lizzie. Together they serve at The Well, an offsite service of First United Methodist Church in Long Beach. Ben is the pastor for The Well. Emily volunteers as the leader for the Worship Planning Team and helps with the spiritual formation of The Well’s band. Emily graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2006. She loves learning more about planning and leading people in worship. When she’s not working on something for The Well, Emily’s probably telling her kids stories about growing up in Kentucky. You can find her on Twitter (@emilyhbarlow) but she mostly live tweets University of Kentucky basketball games.

JD-Walt

JD Walt

John David (J.D.) Walt serves as the “Sower-in-Chief” of Seedbed Publishing. It’s his “living-the-metaphor” way of saying Chief Executive Officer. He joined the Asbury Seminary administration in the fall of 2000 and for eleven years served as the Vice President for Community Formation and Dean of the Chapel. A sought after speaker and conference leader, a published author and songwriter, J.D. serves as a mentor to a number of worship leaders around the world both well known and unknown. He has served as a pastor and teacher in the Passion movement and as a teacher with Worship Central, the worship equipping ministry of Tim Hughes and Al Gordon of the United Kingdom. He is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, a licensed attorney, an aspiring poet, and a practical theologian. J.D., his wife Tiffani and their four children live in Franklin, Tennessee.