Edwin M. (Ed) Willmington is the Director of the Fred Bock Institute of Music of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts, and Composer-in-Residence at Fuller Theological Seminary. As the institute director, Ed serves several roles. Among these responsibilities are teaching graduate level classes related to music and worship and serving as mentor to students who lead the Fuller Seminary Chapel ministry. Previously, his professional career has included serving as Worship and Arts Pastor at Scottsdale Bible Church in Scottsdale, AZ for 22 years, Editor/Writer for Good Life Publications, Worship Pastor at College Avenue Baptist Church in San Diego, CA and Professor of Music at Point Loma University in San Diego. In 1995, he created Shepherd’s Staff Worship Music for the purpose of making available resources for worship planning. Ed is the composer/ arranger of more than 100 published works, served on the Advisory Board for The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration, and has been the recipient of many ASCAP awards for his contribution to church music.
Ed’s recent compositional and CD projects include “Jubilate! An Ancient-Future Concert Mass,” and “Reconciled in Christ,” the music for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, held in Cape Town, South Africa in October 2010. Ed also served as the conductor for those historic gatherings. He also has a special interest in encouraging the creativity of musical artists, and has developed Jubal House Publications (www.JubalHouse.com) as a means of sharing new works as tools for worship planning. Through Jubal House, Ed is also involved in commissioning new musical works with spiritual and theological content that are artistically intended for use in the concert hall.
Ed’s desire is to encourage creative corporate worship gatherings that connect people with God on a regular basis, and to create opportunities for worship ministry leaders and congregants to live out their giftedness as well. He is often asked to be a guest speaker at churches and conferences on topics related to worship and music. In order to model the principles of creative worship, Ed hosts an annual one-day worship training conference, Forming Hearts, Creating Art, and the Festival of Worship (www.FestivalofWorship.com), which is a creative worship gathering of choirs and instrumentalists held at the Los Angeles Cathedral. As an author, he has contributed his thoughts to periodicals and other publications, including the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality (Zondervan).
Ed has a BA in Church Music and Conducting (Bethel University [MN]), MM in Composition and DMA in Composition—-both from the University of Arizona. Ed and his wife Mary Lou have two married daughters, Nicolette Kay and Cami Ferreira, two sons-in-law, Timothy Kay and Gus Ferreira, and four wonderful grandchildren.
Jon Gathje, a proud Nebraska native, recently graduated with his Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, MN (2012). Along with his roles in the Brehm Center, he is also pursuing his PhD in Christian Worship and serves as pastor at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Rancho Palos Verdes. Prior to seminary, Jon worked as a music educator and choral conductor, and those experiences still have a profound impact on his faith and academic work. His previous degrees (BME, MM) are both from the University of NE-Lincoln, where he studied with Peter Eklund, Rhonda Fuelberth, and Therees Hibbard. He has conducted in master classes with numerous musicians, including Paul Salamunovich and Sharon Hansen, and currently sings with the LA Master Chorale.