With as many people as we have in the ECC Worship Ministry, it’s hard to have everyone meet our new intern, Keegan Ferrell. So, I thought we’d interview him and share a little bit with you! So without further interruption, will you please give a warm email welcome to our new worship intern, Keegan…
Ok Keegan, let’s talk…how did God lead you to worship leadership?
Ever since I was little, I have loved the feeling of music running through my brain and body. When I was 8, I changed our answering machine from the boring, “Sorry, we are unavailable” message to a full out song to the tune of Bon Jovi’s, “You Give Love a Bad Name.” My parents told me to erase it, but when voicemail after voicemail began to roll in stating how much they loved the song, my parents decided they would let it slide. You can still call my home phone and hear an eight-year old me singing at the top of my lungs.
My Mom, seeing my potential, put me in piano lessons, I was not as cooperative. I hated piano. I hated lessons, I hated everything about it. I would show up to lessons and lay down on the floor. However, as I grew and developed under different teachers, I began to love the art form and fully embrace music as what I wanted to do with my life.
To me, there’s nothing better to mix in with my faith than music. I often am selfish in thinking that God gave me musical gifts in order to make me happy, or perhaps even in order to give me a way to impress girls! However, the only true reason that God gifted me in music is so that I could use those gifts in order to bring glory to his name.
Bon Jovi’s, “You Give Love a Bad Name??? That’s amazing. I’m going to have to call your house now! But back to business…how about role models? Who have been the most influential people in your life?
My father has always been an example of self-sacrificial love. He has always put others before himself, even when it puts him in an uncomfortable position. In this way, he has been an encouraging Christ-like example for what a true man looks like and how he should function at the head of a family. In the same way, my mother has provided constant support for me, and she is truly my number one fan. She always is at my shows supporting me, lifting me up after a good or bad performance. She has shown me what it means to love and support someone in the midst of any circumstance.
My fantastic jazz instructors Eric Clancy and Dave Latchaw have also been instrumental in my development.
That’s great. My parents have had a huge influence on me too. That’s a gift. So who would you say is your favorite “christian” artist or songwriter right now?
Hmmm, I hate to say it, but I don’t listen to a whole lot of Christian music. There are still a lot of Christian songs that I connect with deeply. Often times, I’ll turn on the worship playlist in the car and before I know it I’m raising my hands and closing my eyes, worshipping the Lord. Real safe for driving, huh? I enjoy Kristian Stanfill, Hillsong, Vertical Church Band and Chris Tomlin.
Semi-safe. Just for fun…favorite flashback song from when you were growing up?
When I was little I would ride around with my Dad in his truck, he had a CD called Dad’s tunes. To this day, I consider that CD legendary. The songs that are on that CD bring me back to my childhood when I hear them. A few of my favorites are “What Trouble Are Giants” by Rich Mullins, “Chantilly Lace” by Jerry Lee Lewis and “Kentucky Rose” by Michael W. Smith.
Without thinking…favorite book of the Bible or favorite verse?
Galatians 2:20- “For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The live I live in the body I live by faith in Christ Jesus, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Why don’t you describe your devotions with God.
I lead a large bible study in my house each week, and this is a time that I am able to connect with my brothers in Christ as well as Christ himself. We read a passage of scripture and then we discuss it and how it plays a role in our lives as teenage guys. I have experienced a lot of growth through this group.
What are you presently reading?
I am reading the book of Revelation right now. It’s a confusing book and people have devoted their lives in attempting to understand its highly complex and often metaphorical message, and here I am trying to read it and figure it out. I do love a good challenge.
What books are you currently reading for fun?
I am currently reading the Jazz Piano Book as well as the Jazz Theory Book in order to better myself as a musician. As college approaches, I am auditioning for Berklee College of Music and Belmont University. I am practicing several hours a day for these auditions and these books will help me on audition day.
I’m not sure everyone would call that “reading for fun”, but not everyone has a shot at Berklee either. What’s the best book you’ve read that has helped you grow as a believer?
A book that has helped me grow as a believer is my “Every Man’s Bible.” Obviously the Bible is critical for my faith, but my Bible has devotions in it and applications for the life of a typical man. I enjoy this aspect, as it makes it simple to apply these lessons to my life.
And what single bit of counsel has made the most significant difference in your life?
One of my old piano teachers told me something during a time where I was not very focused or motivated to practice. He could tell that I was not putting much effort into my instrument and he was upset with me. He got very honest with me and said, “Keegan, look. You shouldn’t be practicing in order to impress me at lesson for thirty minutes or any other reason. I’m still getting paid regardless of if you work or not. The only person you’re cheating is yourself. This is for you, not for me. There are no shortcuts.” This really motivated me and I applied this to a lot of things. For example, our faith in God isn’t just a single decision. The decision to follow Christ is the first step, but actually following him is when the real work gets put in.
What else do you do for fun when you’re not at ECC?
When I am not at ECC I am doing one of two things: I am either sleeping or playing piano! I’m not kidding, I am obsessed with practicing piano. I am always itching to play, so when I’m away from a piano, a kind of tension builds up, but when it is released by playing it is the sweetest feeling in the world!
Anything else on your mind you want to share?
I am very excited to be a part of the team at ECC. My family has been attending this church for the past 25 years, so I can truly say I have grown up at ECC. I’m glad to be part of such a Christ-centered, open and loving community. I’m not sure if worship ministry is something I am interested in for a career, but I am open for what God wants to do with me, and that is why I wanted to do this internship. I am looking forward to an excellent year with you all!
We are excited to have you on the Worship Arts team for this year, Keegan. It’s going to be a great one!