Jay Beech's Biography

Baptized into the death of Christ and raised again to new life...

  • Summary
  • Publications
  • Notable Events
  • Positions

“Baptized into the death of Christ and raised again to new life…”

These are the words of St. Paul paraphrased in the signature song by Jay Beech, “Baptized.” This gifted artist has performed and led worship all over the country in venues ranging from stadiums to small country churches. He has long been recognized for his creative blending of musical energy and theological substance, and his ability to lift up ancient traditions within a modern context.

As a composer, Jay has the ability to bring the Biblical narrative to life in a deeply meaningful and relevant way. Seeking to express both the holiness and the compassion of God, his appreciation for the paradoxical nature of life and faith makes his music truly unique. His published works include hymns, liturgies, camp songs, musicals, and anthems that are sung each week in congregations throughout the United States.

Before the days when The Jay Beech Band was a favorite at youth gatherings, before there was a worship & praise industry, Jay was deeply committed to congregational singing and participation. He now shares this passion as a frequent presenter at workshops addressing trends in church music.

His musical vocabulary ranges effortlessly from blues to ballad, from hymn to funky jazz. Always surrounded by outstanding musicians, a performance or worship service with Jay Beech will be a truly inspiring experience.

Jay is the owner of Baytone Music. He has also worked as a church musician at several congregations including 16 years at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, MN. He is now living in Minneapolis and serving as director of the new Center for Worship & Music Studies.


1982 The Death of the Stickman recording Eagle Records
1985 We Welcome You musical Baytone Music
1988 The Rock Hymnal songbook and recording Baytone Music
1989 Big World Getting Smaller recording Baytone Music
1991 The Rock Hymnal, vol.2 songbook and recording Baytone Music
1991 Catechism Cataclysm musical book and recording Baytone Music
1992 Together in Jesus' Name VBS musical Augsburg Fortress
1994 One Body, Alive! communion liturgy and recording Augsburg Fortress
1994 The Jay Beech Band Vocal Project recording Augsburg Fortress
1995 Awesome Adventures VBS musical Augsburg Fortress
1995 “Return to the Lord” & “Lamb of God” from Cup of Blessing liturgy included in With One Voice hymnal (#615 & #622) Augsburg Fortress
1997 “Rise Up with Christ” choral anthem Neil A. Kjos Music
1997 “Every Time I Think of You” published as ELCA church-wide stewardship theme song ELCA
1997 “The Church Song” included in Songs for Sunday School Augsburg Fortress
1997 “Start All Over Again” published with VBS music Augsburg Fortress
1997 “You Are My Light” 2-prt. octavo published Baytone Music
1998 “The Church Song” published in the ELCA cong. annual report cover ELCA
1998 “Name Above All Names” featured in Leading the Church's Song instructional resource Augsburg Fortress
1999 Six hymns in Worship and Praise hymnal Augsburg Fortress
2001 To the Castle: A Musical for Stewards published as ELCA church-wide stewardship resource ELCA
2001 Everyone Who Is Thirsty, Come! congregational song resource

Baytone Music

2002 “Our God Is Gracious” SATB octavo published Baytone Music
2003 Five songs included in Chalice Praise hymnal Chalice Press
2004 “Life is Good” theme song and worship materials commissioned for ELCA Outdoor Ministries summer curriculum ELCA
2004 John Helgen choral arrangement of “All Is Ready Now” Augsburg Fortress
2006 “Sanctus” & “Lamb of God” included in Setting 8, Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW - pp.190-191) Augsburg Fortress
2007 The Race: A Simplicity Musical produced under the auspices of ELCA Hunger Program ELCA & Baytone
2009 BaytoneMusic.com redesigned and opened as web publishing site and online store Baytone Music

Notable Events

1988 Jay Beech Band is music leader for ELCA National Youth Gathering in San Antonio, TX
1991 Jay Beech Band is music leader for ELCA National Youth Gathering in Dallas,
1994 Jay Beech Band is music leader for ELCA National Youth Gathering in Atlanta, GA
1995 Jay Beech Band performs at ELCA church-wide Assembly Festival-Target Center, Mpls.
1997 Music leader for ELCA church-wide stewardship conference
1998 Music leader for ELCA church-wide stewardship conference
1999 Co-organizer of Lutheran Worship in Dynamic Balance workshops presented in cooperation with NWMN, SWMN, END, & SD Synods of the ELCA
2000 Music leader for ELCA church-wide stewardship conference
2003 Music leader for Luther Seminary Mid-winter Convocation closing worship
2003 Worship leader for ELCA Bishops' Assistants conference
2003 Worship leader for ELCA National Outdoor Ministries conference
2003 2004 Co-organizer of Contemporary Worship & Beyond summer worship & music training conference at Concordia College
2005 Worship leader for Spirit of Youth Ministry ecumenical conference in Hartford, CT
2006 Worship leader for National Council of Churches Youth Workers' Summit in Orlando, FL


1982-1996 Full-time independent itinerant church musician
1996-1997 Vinje Lutheran, Willmar, MN - part-time worship planning and director of liturgical ensemble
1996-1997 Bethlehem Lutheran, St. Cloud, MN - part-time worship planning and director of liturgical ensemble
1998-2006 Trinity Lutheran, Moorhead, MN - Director of Music
2006-2013 Trinity Lutheran, Moorhead, MN - worship planner and ensemble director
2013-2017 The Center for Worship & Music Studies - Executive Director
2017-present Retired