Worship Leader Joey Witham

Joey Witham is bringing a new face to the Christian music scene and a fresh passion to worship.  Whether performing his original songs or leading in authentic worship, Witham seeks to bring people into closer intimacy with God.
Witham’s musical roots can be traced back to First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Texas.  While growing up, he and his twin brother Jerry (who is the pastor of Vista Ridge Baptist Church in Carrollton) were actively involved in various ministries. “I always had a drive to be involved in church,” Witham said.  “Growing up, I was always the musical one in the family that performed in front of my parents.  I sang in the choir at church. When I was 16, I started playing the guitar and writing songs. 
“After college, I wanted to play soccer.  However, God put me in a position where I was leading worship from the get-go. I think God just got a hold of me and said, ‘I’ve given you this gift, and you have a passion for me — so get out there and use it.’  I started out by myself doing small things, and then the last five years, I’ve been with the band.”
Today, Witham and his band maintain a busy schedule.  Witham leads worship for the youth ministry at Irving Bible Church, and he also leads worship for “Empower,” a Bible study for Singles at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.  In addition, he is involved in numerous DiscipleNow weekends, camps, conferences and retreats.  
When preparing for an event, Witham carefully selects songs he feels will best suit the targeted audience, with the goal of leading others to Christ. “First and foremost, we make sure that our goal is to lead people to the throne of God,” he said.  “Worship is our response to God, for who he is and what he has done in our lives.  When we’re really approaching worship and our time with God the way we’re supposed to, it opens us up to express our love, praise and thanksgiving to God. Music can also be the gateway to listening to God, as we open our ears, minds and hearts.”
In preparation to lead worship, Witham spends time reading the Bible and praying for God’s direction. “One of my favorite Scriptures is Ephesians 2:10, ‘For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ I think about that all the time, because you’ve got to work at what you’re doing as a worship leader.  You have to practice, become familiar with Scripture and always ask God for direction.”

During his travels, Witham says, he loves spending time off the platform, interacting with people and hearing about what God is doing in their lives. “One time, a church group at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Encampment asked our band to spend time with them after the worship service.  When we met with them, students shared things that were going on in their lives.  We prayed with them about those things and worshipped with them.  There were about 25 students, and it was one of the most amazing times of worship that I’ve ever had. The times when I get to really spend time with these kids and see their adoration for God is incredible.”

Witham has two worship CDs available through www.independentbands.com. His original songs have opened up many doors to minister to non-Christians.
 “I received an e-mail from a girl that said, ‘I’m not a Christian, but I wanted to tell you that I’ve been listening to your CD, and one of the songs is really speaking to me.’  Five weeks later, she wrote back and said, ‘I’m now a Christian, and I want to thank you.'”
 Leann Callaway is a Dallas-based freelance writer.

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