Free Methodists from around the world will join in song July 13–16 during General Conference 2015, and they will have a worship team reflecting the conference’s “Whole Church” theme.
Dawn Salmons, a worship leader for the Orlando Fellowship and Asbury Theological Seminary’s Orlando campus, envisions GC15 as a time when “we can experience what worship will someday be like — where we all come together, join our different traditions and form a chorus of praise.”
Drummer and percussionist Chase Hodge of Christ Community Church in Columbus, Georgia, also expects the worship to reflect “what heaven will be like — many different people and cultures coming together to worship Jesus.”
The GC15 worship team blends Free Methodist singers and musicians with a wide range of musical backgrounds who will unite the denomination in worship.
“Expect diversity. There will be more than one genre, language and style,” said Hannah Lampe, the director of worship music at the Spring Arbor (Michigan) Free Methodist Church. “I am thrilled to experience God’s diverse kingdom on earth come together.”
Free Methodist Church – USA bishops asked Glen Prior, one of the General Conference 2011 worship leaders, to direct the GC15 worship team.
Prior, the Free Methodist Church in Southern California’s assistant superintendent for administration, said that Tim Lambert — the worship arts director at Pearce Memorial Church in North Chili, New York — played a key role in the selection of the worship team by contacting and following up with prospective musicians and worship leaders.
“We have assembled a core instrumental worship team to which we are adding seven vocal leaders. The idea is to establish a consistent musical foundation that has the flexibility to flow with the unique giftedness of each leader,” Prior said.
Prior won’t be the only familiar leader for people who attended GC11. Jervaun Trier traveled from Ethiopia, where she served as a missionary at the time, to New York to help lead the last general conference in worship.
“GC worship is an expression of grace in unity, that which is reflected in Acts 2:44: ‘All the believers were together and had everything in common,’” said Trier, who now leads worship at Lakewood Light + Life Community Church in Colorado.
Jesus Use Me Movement founders David and Leah Gaulton of the Pacific Coast Japanese Conference are assisting in assembling the music catalog and crafting the worship flow for each session. Professional keyboardist and music producer Troy Welstad of the Oregon Conference will serve as the music director.
Many of the team members are adept at playing different genres of music. Eric Logan — the worship team coordinator at New Hope FMC in Rochester, New York — is a classically trained vocalist who was a member of the pioneer Christian rock band The Sons of Thunder.
“Know that when the first note is played, we will not be beginning worship, but instead continuing and entering into a worship expression that God began in you long before,” Logan said.
Other team members include former Greenville (Illinois) FMC Director of Music and Worship Arts Kristen Pence, who led worship during the spring National Prayer Summit in preparation for GC15; Tamekia Nash-Walls, the worship leader at New Beginnings Community Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan; Tim Guillemette, the lead guitarist and chaplain for the Roberts Wesleyan College gospel choir; and William Pena, a bass player and the pastor of Ministerios Nueva Vision, Hialeah, Florida.
Go to fmchr.ch/gcworship for expanded coverage.0