It never ceases to amaze me how God sets things up. Through a series of recent events, I met Cody McKee and Jordan Moore. Today I’m bringing you the interview I did with these guys. They are incredibly humble and I really enjoyed doing the interview with them. This was my first Skype interview, so the format is going to be different!
Cody McKee is the worship leader at Spirit Church in Bartlesville, OK. He has a wife named Mikaela (from AZ) and a daughter named Carmyn, with one more child on the way. He’s from Mobile, AL and grew up in church his whole life. “My parents told me I was always beating on pots and pans when I was little,” Cody said. So they bought him drum sets. They knew his life would revolve around music in some way. They were right. Around age 12 to 13 he learned how to play the acoustic guitar. At age 15 he wanted to learn the piano. At that time he was encouraged by his youth pastor to lead worship in the youth group. Naturally he was terrified. He had never played piano before, but he learned the basic G,D, E minor, C chords.
Cody said, “I messed up a lot, but I’m thankful today for being pushed by my youth pastor to really just get up there and do it. Those were defining moments for my life that really shaped me into who I am today.” He got involved with ministry and began to lead worship for the youth group at his church. He attended a private Christian school that had chapels every other week, and he also began to lead worship there.
After graduation Cody attended college at Central Bible College in Springfield, MO. He was there for three years, until a merger happened between CBC, Evangel and AGTS, so he graduated college at Evangel University with a contemporary worship leadership degree. During that same time Cody traveled with two music teams. One of which was Heartsong, where they sang at regular church services and the other was known as 57:7 (from Psalms 57:7) which was a youth outreach band. While he was attending college he had his first ministry position helping out with a church plant in Willard, MO. He led worship there for three years. During that time McKee says, “I learned a lot of stuff. It was a growing season for me.” He learned what it was like to not have a band. The church was small and he had to tackle a lot of roles, from sound guy to tech person. Those times have really made him appreciate where he is today. His first role model as a worship leader was someone we are familiar with in our area, Lindell Cooley. His other influences include Israel and New Breed, Bethel Church, Chris Tomlin, and Elevation worship.
After those three years, he got connected with Darryl Wootton at Spirit Church. After a phone call, Pastor Wootton went to Springfield to interview Cody and his wife. They were invited to go to Bartlesville to try out at the church. Together they went back three different times. The first one was just a visit, the second and third time they tried out. Pastor Wootton offered them the position, and after much prayer they felt it was where God was leading them and now they’ve been at Spirit church for about three years.
When he had first come to Spirit Church, Pastor Wootton had told Cody that it had been prophesied over the church that they would write and produce music. McKee said, “That had always been a dream of my heart even in college. I always dreamed of the day I’d be a part of a church where we could write and produce music.” Part of that dream was getting music out that would minister to the core of people. So after hearing about the prophecy he wanted to do it immediately, but he knew it would take time. “It’s like building blocks; it takes time to build up that type of music program. You can’t just do it all in one day,” Cody said.
Now, three years later Spirit Church is getting ready to release its first single ever, entitled “Crossing
Over”. Cody went on to say, “We’re really excited about what God is doing in our Church and what he’s doing in our music department. We’re very blessed with the musicians and the vocalists that we have on our team.” The worship team is experiencing a constant flow of creativity. People are sharing melodies and lyrics that they’ve written and he credits it all to God.
Jordan Moore has been the youth pastor at Spirit Church for five years. He also graduated from CBC in Springfield, MO. He and Cody actually attended college at the same time, though Moore was older than McKee. While there they never really got together due to being in different groups. “Since I was a kid I’ve always appreciated poetry and writing. That’s kind of how I fit into the puzzle,” Jordan said.
Jordan, being a youth pastor, spends time with the kids. They’ll tap out a beat on a table and he’ll freestyle rap. “I rap with those kids. One day I had a huge horde of kids all around me and I was rapping about mowing my lawn and they thought it was funny,” Moore said.
According to Jordan that’s kind of how it started, he and Cody got together and Cody went to his keyboard and started playing and Jordan started coming up with crazy lyrics. While it started out as something fun, they thought that if they got serious about it they could make something decent. One day Cody called Jordan into his office and said they should write a song. Within 45 minutes they had one. They called the song “Hope Within Me” and on December 18 they will be doing a live recording of that song at Spirit Church with hopes of releasing it around February of next year.
Jordan said that they got the idea for “Crossing Over”(which is the song that released Friday October 21) from an Easter Production; the pastoral team came up with the theme of crossing over from death to life. Again, Cody called on Jordan to help him write a song for the service. They took their inspiration from the scripture being used, John 5:24. Cody says, “That’s one of the first things that we do when we write a song. We try to get the scripture immediately to back it up.” When people ask where they got their songs from, they’re able to point right back to the Word. “Writing song lyrics should be birthed in the same way that a sermon should be birthed. You would never want your sermon to be based off of an idea; you want it to be birthed out of scripture.”
Jordan added, “Writing song lyrics should be birthed in the same way that a sermon should be birthed. You would never want your sermon to be based off of an idea; you want it to be birthed out of scripture.”
As true leaders, Cody and Jordan wanted to make sure they didn’t take all the credit. I asked them to tell me about their church. Jordan said, “Our church is all about three things, we put this tagline on everything: Love, Joy and Peace. At our church, from the time you walk in the door until the time you leave, we want you to experience the Love, Joy and Peace of Jesus.” Every ministry in the church shares the same focus. Their love for their church and for their leaders is evident. “Another thing our pastor always says is we want to reach the least, the last and the lost. We want the Love, Joy, and Peace of Jesus to be found in the least, the last and the lost.” The pastor’s vision has definitely been passed on to the leadership team. Cody and Jordan also pointed out that Spirit Church has a broad spectrum of ages represented and they want the music to reach across all generations
Spirit Church will soon be taking on a new endeavor. They will be breaking ground on a new building. This is something that has been talked about for at least 10 years. They’ve outgrown their building; and they’ve been good stewards and creatively used the space that God has given them. Now he has released them to build and they are going forward.
Cody said, “Something that may be encouraging to other churches and pastors is that ever since we’ve mentioned groundbreaking and started moving closer to that; we’ve seen more spiritual attacks. The pastor has told us that we need to link arms and stick tightly together. Continue to pray that God will protect us as we move forward toward this.” God is faithful and has bigger plans. They believe that when the shovel goes in the ground, things are going to take off. They know that through the entire process, new songs and lyrics will come. The old saying seems to ring true, “new level, new devil,” but they know that through Christ all things are possible and they are looking forward to the future.
I asked Cody and Jordan for any last comments they might have. They replied, “We’re so grateful to work for such an incredible lead pastor who allows us to express creativity. He pushes us to be more creative and to dream bigger. Our pastor has put together a great staff and he plays to the strengths of each one. He’s a visionary leader and we are blessed for a church of our size in a city of our size.”
Both Cody and Jordan are excited about what God is doing. The bible says in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish:” Spirit Church’s pastor Darryl Wootton has a vision and they are going full force into what God has for them. Keep your eye out; I believe you’ll be seeing a lot more of these guys!
If you’d like to find out more about Spirit Church you can visit their website Spirit.church
You Can Find Crossing Over at the following places:
Please take a moment and go support them! You can find their new single in these places: I’ve placed several links down below.