A little about me…
Lover…of my amazing wife, Olivia and our son Harper Ellis born August 2015. Olivia and I met in college and got married right before we graduated. She’s the love of my life and I’m always looking for more ways to love her. She makes me a better man in every way. She led the way to a huge (in many senses of the word) change in our lives in 2011 when she won NBC’s The Biggest Loser. She lost 129 lbs and I lost 113 at home while she was on the show. We’ve maintained the weight loss for seven years and going! We vlog periodically over at our YouTube channel We are the Wards where you can try and keep up with me trying to keep up with Harper.
Worship Leader & Pastor…I serve as the worship and communications director for Rehoboth Baptist Church in Tucker, GA and previously as the worship pastor for Shelter Rock Church on Long Island. I love to lead people into the presence of God. This is one of the things that make me come alive. My youth pastor asked me in eighth grade to lead some songs with my guitar (which I barely played!) at our Wednesday night meeting. That set me on a course to fall in love with worshipping Jesus and seeing people go deeper into His presence together. I also love to see musicians and creative artists grow in their gifts and craft…I thrive on helping people grow spiritually, creatively, relationally, and any other “-ly.”
Creative…Making things, being creative, makes me happy. I love music, filmmaking, web design and development, social media engagement, live sound design, making records, and all kinds of other creative endeavors.
Songwriter…I’ve written songs since I was a kid. Some good, some bad, some I’m proud of, some embarrassing. I majored in songwriting at Berklee College of Music in Boston where I was a winner of the BMI Foundation’s John Lennon Award and the Vince Gill Award. I spent several years in Nashville writing all kinds of songs.
Singer…My Mother’s parents sing Sacred Harp Music-they met at a “singing”! Singing is in my blood. I like to take those new songs I write and sing them to whoever will hear (even if it’s my chihuahua). My wife Olivia and I met at the University of Alabama where we were both classical (!) voice majors.
Musician…Guitar, piano (any other instrument with strings…I’ll give it a go). I wanted to play guitar so I could be my own accompanist. Even as a kid I was aware of the scarcity of good players. I figured if I got good enough, I should be able to follow…me. And who doesn’t love the thrill of playing in a tight band where everything just, well, sings.