Jim Teel, now living in Nothwest Georgia, retired in early 2017 from his position as the Worship Pastor for the Edinburg SDA Church in Texas after serving there for three years. Prior to this appointment, he served from 2006 through 2013 in the Keene SDA Church, on the campus of Southwestern Adventist University. This had followed eleven years of worship planning and directing music for the Marietta Adventist Church in Marietta, Georgia. In his 27 total years of in-church ministry, he served in both traditional and contemporary church music settings, helping to transform three different churches from single-service traditional worship styles into multi-service formats with a variety of blended musical styles.
His musical skills and breadth of prior music experiences, along with his skills in writing and creating visual presentations, contributed to the success of his ministry in Marietta and in the churches he had served earlier in Southern California. He was ordained to the gospel ministry by the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in 1997.
A multi-talented musician, Teel sings and is able to play piano, banjo, guitar, euphonium, and trombone. Even though he completed a degree in religion at Southern Adventist University in 1973, all of his elective hours were spent in music classes. Though not a music major, he worked all four years in the music department, accompanying choirs and voice students.
He also directed and arranged for various groups and assisted with almost every live campus production involving music. He was active as a composer, and his compositions were performed several times during those years. While at SMC, Teel became convicted that God was calling him to turn his "hobby," music, into a life ministry.
He completed an M.Mus. in composition at the University of Arizona (Tucson) in 1975. While there, he wrote and arranged for campus groups and local churches, and had the opportunity to join with two other music graduate students in scoring a locally-produced TV documentary.
Teel joined the staff of Mt. Pisgah Academy in 1975 where he taught classes in religion and algebra, gave private piano lessons, and directed the academy choral program. He also served as worship and music minister for the academy church.
In 1977 he auditioned for and was hired by the Voice of Prophecy, serving for five years as music arranger and keyboard player. Part of his job was producing recordings of VOP artists. He subsequently produced and arranged twenty albums, including his own solo piano release in 1979.
In the summer of 1982, Teel and the members of the King's Heralds left the broadcast to form an independent ministry called The Heralds' Ministries. The quartet, known as The Heralds (it later again became The King's Heralds), with Teel as their keyboard artist and arranger, began performing extensively in the U.S. and internationally on Christian television and in concerts at churches of many denominations. They also visited hospitals and prisons on a regular basis.
Teel worked with the quartet for seven more years. Their concerts included a mix of contemporary favorites, traditional hymns, Spirituals, and songs for the children. During those years, a fifteen-minute radio broadcast, Sounds of Praise, a program he wrote and produced for use by local pastors, won an Angel Award.
Starting in 1989, he served as Minister of Music and Youth Pastor for the Simi Valley Adventist Church in California. He then served as Worship Leader and Program Coordinator for Celebration Center in Colton, California. In those positions, he began to include and/or feature more contemporary praise style of music, adding the direction of praise teams and bands to his previous choral experience.
Adding to his skill on traditional musical instruments, Teel began in the late 1980's to familiarize himself with the new generation of electronic keyboard instruments. He became accomplished in the creation of music through MIDI sequencing, which led to musicians from all over the world contacting him for advice and assistance in creating background arrangements using synthesizers and samplers.
Source: Interview with Jim Teel, February 2007 and email updates, 13 November 2014 and 20 March 2019.