Two-Time Alum Leo Colon T’20,’23 on Integrating Ministry and Music

“My first experience in ministry was, of course, in music ministry. Everything flowed from that experience.”

July 2023 – Drew Theological School two-time alum Leo Colon T’20,’23 has found synergy between music and ministry.

Colon, the pastor of In His Presence Family Worship Center and music director for Vanessa Williams, maintains no differentiation between the titles. “I have been both while at Drew Theological School,” he said. “I am pastor and musician in both the church and the band. I enjoy no conflict, and they do intersect.”

Colon’s passion for music started at a very young age. He and his brother, also a musician, started seriously studying the classics and eventually expanded to other genres.

While attending the High School of Music in New York City, Colon was introduced to gospel music. “It sounded like an Earth, Wind & Fire concert,” he said “To say the least, I was hooked.”

Raised in a Catholic, Latinx household, Gospel music led Colon to explore Protestant denominations, “all with different nuances to their musical expressions.” This journey eventually led him to explore ministry. 

“My first experience in ministry was, of course, in music ministry. Everything flowed from that experience.”

“I was never expected to bifurcate my music as a profession and ministry,” continued Colon. “This happened because of the church and the pastor I served under, who made it clear that I need not leave the music profession to be validated in ministry. This, actually, in African American Pentecostal constructs, is not normative. It is often imposed on musicians that music ministry and music as a profession should not go together. One should shun professional musicianship as demonic and anathema to being holy. This has been proven not to be biblical among my colleagues in ministry.”


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