TUNE UP Track Leaders
Faith Ayers – vocals
Faith Ayers has been a worship leader and performer for years in her native city of Houston, but her passion for music began when she was just four years old. She and her sisters would put on living room shows for the family and began performing in the church choir when she was in kindergarten and has been singing in front of congregations ever since. She has been creating immersive worship experiences for 20 years. Faith is certified to teach the principles of Somatic Voicework™-The LoVetri Method through her work with Jeanie LoVetri, Voice Expert and pioneer of contemporary commercial music which includes all genres. This body of work surged her into a newfound desire for teaching and coaching fellow vocalists. She says singing in worship is her thing–her passion. A deep love for all people and her heart for social justice and equality as a beloved community drives her to create unique and inclusive worship experiences that convey a sense of complete belonging within Christ’s family and stir people to take God’s love beyond the church doors. In all her years of leading worship, Faith has found that there is no greater thing than doing her best to usher people into the open arms and heart of God through worship.
Richard Birk – bass guitar
Richard Birk is Associate Professor of Music at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, TX and the leader/founder of the Christian jazz sextet, Jazz Sunday. He is also a worship leader and arranger for Third Stream, a progressive fusion band that performs every third Sunday at St. John Lutheran Church in Angleton, TX.
Michael and his wife Nina have three children. They are from a small Texas town and moved to Houston in 2009. Michael has been leading worship for over a decade and holds a degree in Music Theory from Houston Baptist University. He is currently enrolled at Southern Seminary and serves as the Worship Pastor at Grace Bible Church Houston.
Brian Christopher Clay – keyboards
Brian is an accomplished keyboardist, vocalist, and the host of JAZZSPIRATIONS every Sunday afternoon from 4:00-6:00 pm on Knoxville’s Jammin 99.7 FM WJBE. Brian was born in Chicago, and grew up in Atlanta and has been a principal player in the Atlanta jazz scene for years, opening or supporting for jazz legends including George Duke, David Sanborn, Stanley Clark, Gato Barbieri, as well as contemporary jazz all-stars like Norman Brown, Gerald Albright, The Rippingtons, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Euge Groove. Brian was also the band leader for the ELCA National Youth Gathering. He currently serves as the Worship Leader and Director of Communications and AV technology at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Knoxville, TN.
Dr. Clayton Faulkner
Clayton Faulkner is Director of Worship, Music, and Technology at Faith Lutheran Church in Bellaire, TX. He has been planning and leading worship for 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Southwest Texas State University, a Master of Arts in Worship from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies.
Dominique “D” German – drums
Dominique German, also known as D. German, is a phenomenal musician from Houston, TX. He fell in love with music at an early age and initially began his musical journey with drums. In addition to professional drumming for over 28 years, he is also a pianist, producer, film composer, and an accomplished arranger. Although, versatile in his musical capabilities in many genres, jazz remains his first love. D. German received his musical education from Houston Community College, and later proceeded to the Musician’s Institute in CA. Over the years, he’s had the opportunity to study with many accomplished musicians, such as Jack Westmoreland, Sebastian Whitaker, and Chuck Silverman. In addition to performing and recording, D. German heads Creative Nation Music Production in Houston, TX and has had work appear in the hit motion picture entitled “Dear White People” as well as seasons 1, 2, and 3 of the wildly popular Netflix series of Dear White People. He also had the opportunity to collaborate on the shows score with the very talented Kris Bowers, who received a nomination for The Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Score. Dominique is currently working on multiple projects including a project he is putting together featuring his own jazz trio.
Dr. Craig Gilbert is the founder and lead consultant of Purposed Heart Ministries. With over 25 years of experience leading and designing worship for churches of all sizes, Dr. Gilbert is a qualified expert in the area of worship renewal. A gifted speaker, teacher and writer with an international reputation, Dr. Gilbert has provided guidance to many churches across the country as well as personally instructing over 5,000 worship pastors and worship leaders from across the globe on a variety of congregational worship issues. Craig is a national faculty member of the National Worship Leader Conference, member of the Advisory Board of Worship Leader Magazine, former contributing editor to Worship Sound and Song Magazine, and founder and Director of TheWorshipDoctor.com worship leader training and development ministry.
DeAndre Johnson – vocals
The Rev. R. DeAndre Johnson is the Pastor of Music and Worship Life at Christ Church Sugar Land (UMC). He received his Bachelor of Music in Sacred Music degree from Centenary College of LA and Master of Sacred Music degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Originally from Shreveport, LA, he has worked in churches in both Louisiana and Texas. As an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church, DeAndre is passionate about facilitating meaningful worship experiences that are intentionally cross-cultural, calling the church into a deeper commitment to reconciliation.
Mark Swayze – creativity
Mark is the Pastor of Contemporary Music and Community Growth at Harvest, The Woodlands UMC. Mark’s ministry spans a decade and is rooted in his beginnings leading youth within the Methodist Church. His ministry continues to be guided by a heart for the Lord and a passion for serving the children of God. In 2012 he released This Album Feeds Children, produced by Ed Cash, with the prayerful hope of leading people to know and praise Jesus and to feed His hungry children. To date, This Album Feeds Children has provided more than 120,000 meals through Children’s Hunger Fund. In September of 2016, Mark Swayze and the worship team recorded and released Live At Harvest, inspired by leading worship for the Harvest worship community. He is currently writing songs to be prayerfully considered for the Wesleyan catalog of worship music and faithfully used in the renewal movement among Methodist youth.