I was blessed to be brought up in a church that had a profound love of music. As a young boy, I entered the children’s choir. At the age of 13, I began playing the trumpet in church. Playing the horn has always been extra special because of the biblical references to trumpets and horns. It just seems like heaven will be filled with trumpets, not necessarily bassoons!

Our family has attended FBC Inez for more than fifteen years, and we have been blessed in this church and community. I started playing trumpet in Sunday worship and then began to help introduce contemporary Christian music, first as a vocalist, then as a guitarist. There is a common thread through my current work as a worship leader all the way back to my first church choir – we sing and play for the Creator of everything. We are able to proclaim His goodness through music. 

A great benefit of being a church musician is I am constantly exposed to biblical content through song lyrics. However, through the years, I failed to pursue a deeper understanding of those lyrics and how the Bible was intended to reveal who God is. When I first heard about the opportunity to take seminary classes at Stark College & Seminary, I was intrigued and thought this could be a great way to study scripture and gain a deeper understanding of who I am in Christ. Despite a fairly full schedule, I jumped in and haven’t looked back. Now in my fourth semester, I am absolutely amazed at both what I never knew and what I now know. And, there is still so much more learning ahead of me. 

Finally, after so many years of leading and participating in church music, I understand the role of worship leader. Matching David’s desire, it is to facilitate a time of worship that allows believers the opportunity to lift up hearts and hands in unison to one God, one Savior, and to experience the beautiful presence of the Holy Spirit. I believe that if I had taken these classes earlier in life, my music adventures would have been much more meaningful. Nevertheless, I’m thrilled to continue learning at Stark how to apply the new knowledge to the worship service, teaching, and serving in other areas of the church. Thank you Stark for deepening my understanding of what it means to be called to music ministry.

This article was written by Dan Martino. Dan is a student at SCS and a worship leader, deacon, treasurer and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church Inez.