About the Author

John Gardner FamilyBiography

John Gardner is the Director of Instrumental Music at Stevens Street Baptist Church in Cookeville, TN. His primary responsibilities are administrating the School of Performing Arts, directing the worship orchestra, and composing orchestral arrangements to accompany the corporate worship of the congregation. Currently pursuing an M.Div in Worldview & Apologetics from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, his goals are to equip the church with resources that enhance its ability to worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth, and to produce musicians trained to play with excellence and dedicated to the service of the Giver of their gifts.

Gardner lives in Cookeville with his wife, Laurie, and their three young children.

On Theological Biases

While the resources on this blog are designed to serve Christians from a wide range of denominations and doctrinal persuasions, and will remain as free from bias as possible, it is inevitable that there will be some disagreement over certain interpretive issues. For this reason, some disclosure of the author’s personal beliefs may be necessary.

As a Southern Baptist, Gardner affirms everything contained in the Baptist Faith & Message. And while he affirms the Doctrines of Grace, he believes that Christians with varying understandings of how God saves sinners have far more which unites them than divides them. This is particularly true in relation to corporate worship. For instance, Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley will both be affirmed on this blog, despite their differing soteriology. Because the best worship songs focus primarily on singing God’s own words, hymns and songs written by composers from all along the theological spectrum can have a place in the worship of many kinds of churches.


  1. John, we simply must get together. Your rich focus on the material of our worship singing (hymnology) through this site deserves candid interaction with my area of interest in the dynamics of congregational worship singing. Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to get together sometime. I’m in Nashville fairly often; I’ll see when I might have a chance to visit the TBC and we can grab lunch or coffee.

  2. Hello John,

    I am referred to you by Lynn Dixon, with whom I did the Phantom in Antwerp, Belgium. I am now the Minister of Music at Colonial Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Your site is wonderful, and I look forward to meeting you if you’re ever in Memphis, or perhaps when my wife and I paas through Cookeville on the way to Elizabethton, where she’s from.

    • Glad you’ve enjoyed the site! I’m rarely so far West as Memphis, but if you’re ever passing through Cookeville I’d love to grab some coffee with you. You can contact me through the blog or Twitter, or look me up at Stevens Street Baptist.

  3. John, are you a member of the Hymn Society? Seems like it’d be right up your alley! The Society’s next conference is this Summer in New Orleans, would love to see you there. There are probably some faculty members at SBTS who are members. Thanks for the work you’re doing on this website!

    If you want to check out the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, go to http://www.thehymnsociety.org

    Jonathan Hehn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *