Worship Leader Jimmy Thorpe from
“Reverence: an Offering”
Talks to Rocking God’s House
Fuel Music, based out of Tennessee, has been one of the leading independent distributors of Christian music for over 50 years. They have recently released REVERENCE: An Offering, which features 18 artists and 19 songs — 17 of which have never been released. The album includes renowned artists such as Martin Smith, Remedy Drive, One Sonic Society, Kathryn Scott, Jimmy Thorpe, Dreamseed (Brenton Brown), Chris McClarney with Stu G, Kristen DiMarco, Anthony Skinner, Bryan and Katie Torwalt, Jenny Simmons, Abandon, Lara Landon and others.
The powerful truths and exhortations of Hebrews 12:28 drives Fuel Music, and this album finds its inspiration in a Biblical principle that desperately needs refreshing in Western society: the embracing of local congregations in a way that expands and strengthens the Body of Christ.
Jimmy Thorpe and Patrick Mayberry, both worship leaders from local community churches, offer compelling expressions of praise for this project. From our interview, I could tell Jimmy Thorpe is a worship leader who sees life for what it is: joys, sorrows, triumphs, and pain. His song “Anchor,” track five, will make you somehow feel a deeper meaning to your life purpose and your journey.
From Central America to Canada, Jimmy has played for all types of people, and he has opened for acts such as Shane & Shane, Ginny Owens, and Aaron Shust. Jimmy currently serves as the Director of Worship and Creative Arts for the River Community Church in Cookville, TN. He is a husband and father and a gifted worship leader, and I had the great opportunity of speaking with him about this exciting project:
Tell us about Reverence and why you decided to become a part of it?
Tony Patoto is a friend of mine and he is part of Fuel Music, and we have been trying to work together for several years now on this project. I am a songwriter, and I had been pitching different songs, and one day he approached me and said he was doing this new artists compilation, like a worship showcase, from worship leaders from all sort of different walks of life and different genres and things, and I thought how awesome that is. I thought he meant someone was going to cut one of my songs, and I said who was going to do it, and he said that I should [laughs], and so I was flattered because I have been serving as the Director of Worship and Creative Arts for our church for about six years now, and I have not been playing out and doing a lot of stuff. I have been writing, but just kind of really immersed in ministry, and I was flattered that he approached me to do that song. I have been blessed over the years with the equipment to do it and friends that are amazingly talented, and we kind of put it together and here I am.
What made you decide to choose the song “Anchor?”
He asked if we could do “Anchor” because it is a song that I have featured at our church. A lot of the songs I write are for my church as I serve in the ministry, and that is one that he really liked and thought about it, and we thought yeah that would be perfect. At the time it was pretty freshly written and close to my heart. It was kind of a no-brainier. He liked it and I liked it. It was kind of indicative of the place I have been over the last couple of years, just stepping up in faith and having to trust God in tough times in the mountains and the valleys, and it’s [a topic] I’ve been considering with authenticity.
Discuss your role as a musician and a worship leader?
A friend told me one time that you have to pursue things you can’t not do, and I can’t not do worship leading. It is part of my DNA. I feel it is something that God has called me to do, and I love ministry and it just kind of goes hand-in-hand with songwriting and performing. When you are able to bless people in a different venue like a club, when you can do it in a church building, it is the same Gospel, the same heart, and the same worship, but just bringing it to different people in different contexts. To me they are not exclusive. They have always gone hand-in-hand and doing music and writing and recording material is just something I am not going to be able to not do. I think everyone should pursue the things in life they can’t not do. To me what qualifies as success as a Christian is to be obedient to the Word of God, to do what God has given me [to do], and with the talents to do so. If He is saying go this way and do it to the best of my ability, that is what I am going to do.
Do you want to do more albums like this in the future?
Sure. I have done stuff over the years, and it is always nice to have a broader audience. I must admit my desire is to take what God has given me and let it ripple as far as he wants it to go.
Are you related to the athlete Jimmy Thorpe?
[Laughs] That’s a funny question. You know I went to the library in elementary school, and I saw my name on the spine of a book and I said, “Oh my gosh, this is it, I did it!” And I got it and I learned about Jim Thorpe and everything. I will answer your question by what my dad said: he said in talking about my granddad he said, “Yeah, he used to TTL me about how we were related to Jim Thorpe, but he lies a lot.” [Laughs] So I don’t definitely know. But looking at my athletic aptitude I would say no, [laughs] and that there is no DNA testing required.
The following is the full list of songs and artists featured on REVERENCE:
1 “Band Of Sons” Andrew Ehrenzeller
2 “Shores” Bryan and Katie Torwalt
3 “Yahweh” One Sonic Society
4 “Sing On” The Battlefield Kathryn Scott
5 “Anchor” Jimmy Thorpe
6 “Brought To Life” Patrick Mayberry
7 “Running After You” Chris McClarney & Stu G
8 “Song Of Solomon” Martin Smith
9 “All The Praise” Anthony Skinner
10 “Time To Be Well” Jenny Simmons
11 “Virginia’s Getting Married” Dreamseed
12 “Forever” Abandon
13 “He Is Our Refuge” Common Hymnal feat. Chris Jackson
14 “Believer” Kristene DiMarco
15 “Satisfy My Soul” Marc James (with Brenton Brown)
16 “Born Of God” Justin Jarvis
17 “There Is Grace” Lara Landon
18 “Commodity” Remedy Drive
19 “Obsession” Martin Smith