Jonathan is a deep south-east Texas boy from the renown town (okay, not really) of Lufkin. This guy loves sauce. No, really, we’re not exaggerating. One of his life mottos is, “food is just an excuse to get sauce into the mouth.” (sigh) What is his favorite sauce? That’s a hard one to come by, but he says that queso is up there. After all, he is from deep south-east Texas! He is on a brave quest throughout his life to find the perfect homemade queso recipe. So, if you know a good one and are willing to share, it’s vital that you make a point to do so either in the comments below or over on Pinterest.
Jonathan grew up stomping on tables and “singing” from an early age. His favorite being “S.A.N.T.A” to the tune of “B.I.N.G.O.” (sigh again) One day we’ll find a video clip and post it here for you all. You might want to check back from time to time…believe me, it’s worth it.
Due to a heart condition he was born with (there was a hole in his heart that Jesus didn’t fill…a doctor filled it when Jonathan was a one year old. That’s not to say that Jesus didn’t fill it by providing the doctor. He totally did! We’re just saying it wasn’t the common spiritual hole that is spoken of often in Christian circles. Jesus filled that hole much later.) and not one, but two musical parents; Jonathan was basically doomed to be a musician. Contact sports were simply off the table due to the early heart surgery. Or at least, that’s what he tells himself. We ignore the fact that he is also much too short and not athletically built in any way. It was the heart. The HEART PEOPLE!
…sorry for the outburst, Jonathan is a bit sensitive about this issue. He even gave a riveting senior speech about the negative high-school social implications of not playing sports. His teacher cried, said it was one of the best speeches she’d heard and invited him to lead the debate team with the speech. True story. Alas, he was much to busy (and dare we say “cool”) to do such a thing. After all, he was the band’s drum major! (sigh)
Jonathan joined the high school praise team as a 6th grader. Many were surprised for a few reasons, the first being that no one understood why an 2nd grader was helping lead the youth group. Over the years Jonathan grew (inwardly, that is) and started playing instruments and singing in the band. He started writing his first songs at the age of 15, and they actually weren’t half bad. On his 16th birthday, he got the chance to lead worship and share his very first worship song. It was wonderful and awful at the same time.
By the time he was 18, Jonathan had sworn off music. He simply didn’t want to be a choir director like his parents. He also hated rehearsals of any kind, still does actually. (A fact that is a sore spot in his relationship with Emily) And so, he was all set to attend a university in Texas. If it weren’t for that annoyingly persistent youth pastor and mentor of his, Jason, you likely wouldn’t be reading these words. On one destiny defining day, Jason sat with Jonathan in a Starbucks and lovingly asked him, “what the heck are you doing?” He knew that God had gifted Jonathan in music and encouraged him to consider a university in Nashville, TN called Belmont.
Long story short, Jonathan made his was to Nashville. He spent the first half of his time at Belmont as a vocal major, but then it dawned on him that he would actually need to make money to pay off tuition, and so he switched over to music business with a minor in voice.
During school, Jonathan made many friends, but one of his closest was a cute girl with a big voice named Emily. For two years they became friends and started leading worship together. Most of the people in their lives assumed that they would wind up getting married. Jonathan took offense to this at first because he just knew that people were only saying that because Emily was the only girl around that was shorter than he was. Thank God that our stupidity doesn’t trump his plan! Can I get an amen?!
Jonathan finally got his act together and started to pursue Emily romantically. Though she would most definitely not agree, Emily flat out rejected Jonathan at first. Fellas, is, “I’ve never seen you that way,” not a flat out rejection? (say yes) THANK YOU! So, Jonathan started working out and walking on his tip-toes…it wasn’t long before Emily realized what she was missing. (not really)
Around this time, Jonathan experience some personal crisis when his family back at home hit some serious troubles. All joking aside, it was an awful time; but a time that the Lord used to stir up a craving in Jonathan to know the Word. The Holy Spirit did wonders in Jonathan’s heart over the years through His Word and grew a passion and love for the it and for the Jesus displayed throughout it. Over time, a burning desire grew within him to see others know the Word as he had known it. As a songwriter, he naturally started writing songs out what the Holy Spirit was showing and teaching him in the Word.
After they graduated, Jonathan and Emily got engaged and married the next year in Nashville, TN. Minus one brief stint, they’ve mostly lived in Nashville for over a decade now. They toured full time with a music ministry called Mosaic for over 3 years. Almost four years ago they launched their own music ministry, “The Word in Worship.” If you’ve reached this point (God bless your heart), then you are probably decently familiar with that ministry. If not, you can hear their heart and vision on the home page video.
Jonathan is excited about the future and the calling that the Lord has placed on his life. He and Emily recently signed a publishing deal with LifeWay worship which will allow more and more people to hear the songs produced by the Word in Worship and this make Jonathan want to pee his pants with excitement.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about Jonathan. We’re pretty sure that he wants to know about you too! Introduce yourself in the comments and let him know that you stopped by to visit. The only thing we ask you not to do is post your height, because you’re probably taller than he is.