Zach Light-Wells is a musician based out of Dallas, Texas.
Raised in the Carolinas, Zach Light-Wells merges the sounds of his Appalachian mountain roots with the sound of sanctuaries, concert halls, and the urban South. Zach’s varied background and experiences allow for a unique blend of traditional hymns, familiar melodies, and modern folk music—an emerging trend in reformed worship traditions. In recent years, Zach has led music in a variety of worship settings, from small community churches to national church gatherings, reflecting the growing need for expansive and accessible music in the greater church.
In the Spring of 2020, Zach was called to First Presbyterian Church in downtown Dallas as their new Director of Music. In a letter to the congregation, the Search Committee affirmed Zach’s call, saying:
“We believe that Zach has been led to us, and us to him. Soon you will see what we recognized in him: a commitment to caring for the musicians with which he serves, a theology of worship and music rooted in the reformed tradition, an eagerness to learn, a vision for music as mission, and gifts as a musician that invite others to share their own. When we talked to others about Zach, their words confirmed what already noticed:
‘I’ve known Zach since the summer of 2011, and I was immediately aware he was a serious musician and a multi-faceted instrumentalist. He’s non-anxious, at ease, thoughtful, and studied. He listens well, musically and to people, which inspires trust as a leader.’ Eric Wall, Assistant Professor of Sacred Music and Dean of the Chapel, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
‘Zach is a fantastic musician. I would work with him any time. He is an excellent writer, an excellent speaker, and has excellent interpersonal skills. He doesn’t talk at you; he talks with you.’ Christopher Anderson, Associate Professor of Sacred Music, Perkins School of Theology”
Read the full announcement from the FPC Search Committee here.
Zach previously served as the Associate Director of Emergent Worship at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. On Sunday nights, Zach directed a band of instrumentalists and vocalists during the Worship at 5 service at Preston Hollow. On Sunday mornings, he directed the Westminster Singers Youth Choir, the youth band, and occasionally conducted the sanctuary choir.
Outside of local congregations, Zach has provided music and planning leadership for a variety of conferences, including the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE) Annual Event, Montreat Youth Conferences, Next Conference, and Montreat College Conference.
In Dallas, Zach has performed music in a variety of professional choral ensembles, including Orpheus Chamber Singers, the Verdigris choral ensemble, and the Southern Methodist University Chamber Singers.
Additionally, Zach has worked with numerous singer-songwriters, including long-time friend Sam Burchfield. On the road, Zach has shared the stage with various national touring acts, such as St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Ben Rector, and Noah Guthrie. In the studio, Zach has served in several roles, including producer, arranger, instrumentalist, and vocalist.
Zach earned his Master of Sacred Music (M.S.M.) from the Perkins School of Theology and Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and holds a B.A. in Music from Presbyterian College.