A little about me…
Lover…of my amazing wife, Olivia Ward, and our sons Harper Ellis and Felix McKay. 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.
Worship Leader & Pastor…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.”
I lead the worship ministry at Covenant Church in Mobile, Alabama, and work with Triumphant Mercy Ministries. I previously served, among others, as the worship pastor and creative director for Shelter Rock Church on Long Island. I have a weekly podcast, Morning Prayer and Worship, where I lead through a devotional time that includes music, guided prayer, and order and Scriptures from the Book of Common Prayer.
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. If you’d like to work together on a project, get in touch!
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.
19 Replies to “About”
Benjamin!!!!! I have searched high and low for u!! I know u remember me I was the worst guitar student ever and we auditioned for Nashville star together and I totally bombed!!! What are u doing in ny????? Come back to Nashville! Please email me and tell Olivia hello 😉
Hi Katie!! It’s so great to hear from you. Olivia and I love NYC. She’s singing opera, of course. And I’m leading the music and worship at a church on Long Island. Still writing and playing and singing all the time :). How about you?
Hi Ben, I knew there was something different about you, Olivia and Hannah…so glad I checked out your website. I too am a classically trained singer, now on a worship team – and I sing at nursing homes in the area. BL11 was my all-time favorite season. God bless you and your family in all that you do!
Who sings the background song for the message series “Defining moments”?
It’s the group Newsong. Here’s the iTunes link… http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/defining-moment/id304787849?i=304787869
Hey Ben, I literally stumbled across your site today while looking for a chorus we used to sing in church “Jesus stand among us”. What a treat to find your song of the same title! Since then, I’ve listened to your other YouTube videos also. Most awesome! You’re bookmarked for sure. In the words of Arnold the Terminator- I’ll be back 🙂 Keep us the great work! God bless, Skip
Thanks so much, Skip! You’re welcome anytime!
pls give me your email address our church needs help. God bless
Hi Ben, I know this sounds strange but Hannah is wearing a necklace with two circles in it. In her tweet she mentioned you got it. ? Can you tell me where yall got it from, maybe? Figured you or Olivia would know. Please.thank you!
I actually got Olivia’s “Ben” necklace. Not sure on Hannah’s…you should tweet her @BL11Hannah !
Ben; Finally somewhat connected the dots, I don’t know where I saw you / met you but it was at some music event in the past, once I saw the last episode of biggest loser that’s when your name and face clicked. (by the way major congrats and God’s richest blessings for you both)
I hope we cross paths some day and we get to share a song or 2.
My wife Shirley and I have always found great strength in Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
God Bless; Jeff
I was searching for Olivia’s website but I am so glad I found yours. I knew there was something diffrent about you guys! I also play in a worship team in Los Angeles (drummer) reading your devotionals are inspiring. You and your wife’s journey have encouraged me and feel blessed to have found your website.
Thanks, Angie! Love to hear from drummers 🙂
I am a huge fan of Olivia’s and I read her and Hannah’s blog today which led me to your site! I really appreciate all of your inspirational verses and music. I am a dietitian and also musician in Pennsylvania (singer and flute player) and I am learning to put my total trust in God and know that He has a plan for me. I have learned so much about strength and determination from Olivia and am now learning from you also, so thank you!
Ben, We at Shelter Rock Church are so blessed by your gifts!!! and by the way you are” VERY THIN”!!!!! …… And I love coldplay too!!!
I was also in Peoria from 2007 to 2008 and was inspired by your music. What an inspiration again, I see that you are becoming an athlete as well as a musician.
You inspire me my friend. To worship, to laugh, to live healthy, to follow God, to write, and to have fun. Thanks!
I don’t know if you remember me but, I took a course from you way back at Northwoods Church Peoria. Good to see that you’re out there out there. And I hope you’re doing well!
All the best,
Hi Greg! So great to hear from you!!
Comments are closed.