John’s background is music. He was formally trained at Edinburgh Napier University and spent much of his 20s traveling around the UK performing concerts in churches and community halls. Convinced that leading praise requires sound Biblical training, John completed a Theological degree at London School of Theology whilst serving as the worship leader and contemporary music coordinator at Methodist Central Hall Westminster in the heart of London. He is a former Young Highland singer of the year winner (Inverness Music Festival) and has led many songwriting workshops during various church conferences specializing in contemporary praise music. He helped co-found Scottish Christian Charity aLive ministry from 2006 to 2009. John is also a student of Edinburgh Theological Seminary and a ministry candidate for the Free Church of Scotland. He presently serves as a Minister in training at Rosskeen Free Church and as musical co-ordinater for its Capstone Center.
John’s style is mature, rich, folky and Biblical. On the one hand, his songs – like any good pop music – have a compelling hook which gets caught in your head. But, equally, there is depth in the lyrics and sound. A track like ‘Heaven’s Eyes’ from his Eternity album is a powerful reply to the nettlesome question of how a good God can allow suffering in the world. Another track ‘City of God’, condenses the beautiful images of the new Jerusalem at the end of Revelation into a praise anthem. For lyrics, John might be compared to a young Michael Card for a different generation. As for sound, his music can range from the pop trends of Christ Tomlin and Matt Redman to the more folky melodies of Indelible Grace and Stuart Townsend.
One of the most exciting things John is currently doing is writing new music for metrical translations of the Psalms. Over the last couple of years, he has studied in depth the role of the Psalms in the worship of God’s people, how they have been used in the past, and how different groups and churches are singing them today. One of his ambitions is to enable the church in the Highlands to recover Psalm singing using the Celtic sound that is so popular in church and secular music. Along with writing contemporary music for the Psalms,
In addition, John’s music is helping congregations to see how Jesus is in the Psalms. John’s version of Psalm 23 includes a bridge that references Jesus’ statement in John 10 that he is the good shepherd. As a result, the hope of the Psalm is seen to be fulfilled in the loving care that Jesus provides for his people. Secondly, for many of the Psalms, John is using stanzas as choruses. Therefore, sections of the Psalms are able to be sung more like hymns, repeating key ideas. Watch out for his versions of Psalm 8, 110, and 23. His version of Psalm 8 is a straightforward version of the Psalm with a tune as catchy as Come Thou Fount. As for Psalm 110, John has written a majestic tune for it, which alongside a chorus and bridge, celebrates the glory of Christ as the ascended king. Finally, John’s version of Psalm 23 attests that Jesus is the heart of the Psalms and demonstrates that the Psalms are as relevant, interesting, and powerful as any other music being produced by Christian artists today.
Keep a look out in coming months for John on tour. Given his heart to see the rural church in the Highlands revived, John is currently planning some concerts in the Highlands in 2018.
Article by Joe Barnard.
“John has been our main worship artist for our ministry, We have been delighted to have worked with John, whose powerful testimony and music ministry has not only captivated people, but been a source of real encouragement, outreach and blessing to those who have heard him. I would have no hesitation in recommending John as a visiting speaker/musician to churches.” David Maclean Alive,Ministry www.aliveministry.co.uk)
“I am pleased to endorse John Alexander Wilson, our former Worship leader at the Methodist Central Hall Westminster. He is a man to be trusted and whether in leading worship or in performance John’s sensitivity and musical gifts are greatly used by God” (Rev Martin Turner, Superintendent Minister, Methodist Central Hall Westminster)
“John is a graduate of LST. He led us in sung worship at our first ever Deo Gloria public lecture and demonstrated excellent musicality and sensitivity. His worship leading style was very well received and appreciated by those who attended the event. LST is pleased to endorse John in his music ministry.”(Dr Graham McFarlane, London School of Theology)
“John was invited up to Caithness and a held a wonderful evening concert and also took our morning service in its entirety in the form of music ministry. Melodic, theologically grounded songs with thought-provoking messages sung with a great voice filled out with his testimony and the inspiration behind his writing. There were so many positive comments after the events, his CDs went like hot cakes! We would gladly have him back. A gifted young man, I would certainly recommend that other churches experience these gifts.” (Guy Gordon Thurso Baptist Church