Local Singer-Songwriter to Lead Worship at Monday’s Chapel
By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau
Worship leader and songwriter BJ Putnam wants to change the hearts of Grand Canyon University students and staff through music.
Putnam will lead worship at Monday’s Chapel at 10:45 a.m. in GCU Arena, along with speaker Brian Mueller, GCU’s president and CEO. Putnam joins Christian recording artists and bands Kutless, The City Harmonic and Moriah Peters, who led past Chapel and Gathering services. Putnam said he has monitored GCU’s growth and is excited to be with the University community.
“I have been hearing great things about Grand Canyon and what they have been doing as a school, and I’m excited to have the chance to be a part of that,” said Putnam, who moved to Phoenix at the age of 14 and was home-schooled before starting full-time ministry at 21.
Putnam said he will perform songs from his debut Christian album, “More and More Love,” along with classic worship songs. The album was released on March 12 and will be available for purchase after Chapel. Putnam said he tried to capture a genuine worship experience with his album, to teach others that God’s love can change hearts in a positive way.
“I’m excited to share these songs at GCU and help people experience God’s presence, because His presence changes us,” Putnam said. “I’m all about worshipping corporately with people and engaging them in God’s purpose.”
Timothy Yap, a reporter for the Christian music review site Breathecast, described Putnam’s style and reviewed the new CD in an article published March 8. Yap said Putnam’s album starts off as a “high-octane praise fest” before transitioning into “full funk overdrive” with his song “Glorious.” Yap called Putnam’s hit single “Beautiful Love” a “gorgeous ballad love song to Jesus with a difference.”
Putnam and his wife, Melody, have served as worship pastors at the Church for the Nations in north Phoenix for the past 14 years. GCU and the Church for the Nations have a close relationship; the church is about five miles from campus at Bethany Home Road and Central Avenue, and a number of GCU employees and students serve there.
Putnam will produce the upcoming album of the New Life Singers, GCU’s traveling vocal ensemble headed by Worship Director Gabe Salazar. Salazar, a close friend of Putnam’s who regularly leads Chapel worship, was the one who invited Putnam to campus.
GCU will be the last stop for Putnam before traveling to San Diego to join Darlene Zschech, matriarch of the Christian group Hillsong, and Grammy Award-winning Christian artist Israel Houghton on the Revealing Jesus Tour. The tour will make five stops in the Southwest, and Putnam’s home church will host the tour on Thursday, April 18. (For dates and ticket information, go to www.BJPutnam.com.)
Putnam said God has placed him in a position to lead others, and GCU is another venue to spread His word.
“My strength is in leading worship,” Putnam said. “I enjoy communicating what God has done for me as a worship pastor through my music.”
Contact Cooper Nelson at 639.7511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.