Gary Rea is a Christian artist, worship leader and songwriter from Cape Town in South Africa. From a very young age he has been leading worship and writing songs; and this calling has led him to many different parts of the world. After graduating from Bible college in Cape Town, Gary toured extensively with his band, Peculiar People, and in 2003 they signed a recording contract with Maranatha Music in California, which is what brought them to the U.S. After his time with the band Gary served as a worship pastor at Heritage Christian Fellowship in San Clemente, California, for eight years while continuing to do itinerate worship leading in other parts of the country.
“I’ve always had a heart for the church,” says Gary. “When I first got saved at the age of 10, shortly after my dad passed away, I was loved, mentored and discipled by people from my local church. It was also here that I started to play music and lead worship. The body of Christ was like a family to me and the community that I experienced there has had a lasting impact on me. We would get together often to worship and study God’s Word; and those times together in His presence literally changed my life forever. I have seen how awesome church can be when we love each other like Jesus loves and when we pursue Him first. I want to point people straight to those things through my songwriting and my worship leading.”
In 2013 he released a solo worship album entitled “This is a Good Day,” produced by Evan Wickham. The album was nominated for Independent Album of the Year by Worship Leader Magazine and the song, “Heaven is Here Now,” was featured on the compilation album, Top 25 Praise Songs of 2014. After that, Gary’s music and ministry continued to expand to the point where he and his family decided to go on the road full-time for a season and minister in churches all around the country. They jumped in an RV, homeschooled the kids and set out on a great adventure. Gary recalls it being “a life-changing experience for our whole family.” During this road trip they made a stop in Franklin, Tennessee, where Gary recorded a new album, “Songs of Unity,” with the producer for Third Day, Jonny Macintosh. He co-wrote some of the songs for the album with writers like Phillip LaRue and Jennie Lee Riddle; and during this time made a lot of other great connections in Franklin. After their time on the road, having visited 20 different states, they decided to come back to Franklin and made it their new home base.
When he is not traveling, writing songs or recording music, he loves to spend time with his wife, Kerry, and their four kids.