John Buller performing at the Levite Summit.

Worship artist comes full circle

Former recording artist turned full-time pastor looks to make a comeback.

VERNON, BC—Starfield, Love & the Outcome, Amanda Falk, and even the 2014 Juno nominees The Bros. Landreth all share roots with a single monthly worship phenomenon that dominated the Winnipeg worship music scene in the early 2000s.

That phenomenon was “Hear the Music” a monthly worship night led by recording artist and part-time pastor Jon Buller and attended by hundreds of people.

When Buller followed God’s leading and moved his family to Vernon, B.C. in 2005 to serve full time as the pastor of Worship and the Arts for Vernon Alliance Church, Hear the Music nights faded away into Winnipeg’s history.

Buller’s love of worship music however, was far from over.

In Vernon, he quickly discovered that trying to maintain his life as a worship recording artist and pastor would be a challenge. “Instead of being a full-time artist I became a full-time pastor and could only be a part-time artist,” he says.

A decade after moving, Buller is still confident that he has something to contribute to the Canadian worship music scene. “I am feeling the well is starting to overflow with things to say and songs to sing. It may just be for the local church but others times I’d like it to be with a wider scope.”

The balancing act between pastor and artist will continue to be a challenge but Buller has a plan. “I don’t think you ever achieve that balance but if you are mindful of it, set good priorities, gifted with great people around you, and build a great team you can master it.”

With the support of his church and the team he has spent years building in B.C., Buller says he is ready to start recording worship music again. “Gloria,” an original Christmas song, was released to Christian radio stations across Canada late last year, and a cover of Winnipeg musician Steve Bell’s “Comfort My People” soon followed. Look for more original work to be released across Canada from Buller this fall.

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ChristianWeek Western Correspondent

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