A performer, songwriter, recording artist & worship leader, Wendy is also the founder of Wendy James Vocal & Piano Studio and her art studio, Wendy’s Second Story Windows. She is also a writer, Bible teacher and speaker.
She was called to music ministry at age 17. Born and raised near Caro, Michigan, she graduated from Huntington University (Huntington, IN) with a BA in Vocal Performance and K-12 Music Education. After teaching elementary music in Indiana for 2½ years, she decided to devote her time to her family, music ministry and songwriting. In 1989, she recorded “Proclaim His Power”, which contained five songs she wrote or co-wrote. In 1996, she released Wendy James, a project of all original, contemporary Christian songs, which features “The Lord Reigns”, “Jonah”, “God is Faithful” and “For God So Loved the World”.
Blessed with a tremendous vocal range, her career of thousands of concerts and other appearances began when she started performing concerts in churches for Thumb Youth For Christ while in high school and college. After graduation and marriage, she continued in part-time adult concert ministry. Her husband David joined her by handling sound and technical aspects and in singing the occasional duet, while continuing his career as a CPA. During this time, they were blessed with two children, Zac & Ben, who joined her on stage at an early age.
Inspired by feedback from “Jonah” and her work writing songs for a children’s television show pilot, Wendy felt the Lord directing her to write a songs for kids. In early 2000, she completed the project, titled Wendy & the James Gang – KIDS I – God Loves You , which features 11 exciting pop/rock/swing songs written to appeal not only to kids 2-12, but also their parents and grandparents, including fan favorite “Run devil Run”. A new generation of kids are singing and loving these songs.
During this time, the family felt God calling them to full-time ministry. Dave left the corporate finance world and the family formed Wendy & the James Gang, focused on full-time evangelism to kids and families. Wendy & Dave were inspired to join forces with Orlando and Nashville experts to create an original musical theatre outreach production for kids and parents. This original theatre production, called “God Loves You” was an outreach event that brought the gospel message to communities and churches nationwide and internationally.
- In March of 2000, the family began touring coast to coast, home schooling Zac and Ben, while living in an RV (pulling a 25′ trailer).
- In 2002, they completed a 6 week, 41 show evangelistic mission tour of South Africa where they presented “God Loves You” and shared the Gospel with over 20,000 kids in their schools, as well as in many churches with thousands of decisions made for Christ.
- In 2003, Wendy wrote and recorded “Kids II – Song of the King”, which is also the soundtrack for the Wendy & the James Gang show “Song of the King“.
- In 2004, “God Loves You” was retired.
- In 2005, Wendy & the James Gang created and began performing 2 additional shows: “Secret Agent Man” (using the Kids I CD as the soundtrack) and “Backstage Pass”, which was a worship concert. These three shows combined to form “KingdomRock Live”, a major 3 day event, complete with video backdrops, professional lighting and more.
- Wendy had the leading singing and acting roles in all of the Wendy & the James Gang shows, playing the Mom in “God Loves You”, “Serena” in “Song of the King” and “Agent Samantha (Sam) Book” in “Secret Agent Man” and herself in “Backstage Pass”.
- Wendy & the James Gang retired from road shows in 2008. The ministry of Wendy & the James Gang continues through music and other activities.
Wendy’s background as a recording artist, performer, songwriter and composer includes piano and guitar, numerous radio & television appearances and jingles. She was the featured singer at an event honoring a former U.S. Vice-President. She was a founding board member of the Huntington, Indiana Children’s Choir and served on the Board of the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra. Wendy is also a 10 year member and graduate of Bible Study Fellowship International (BSFI).
Wendy is the founder of Wendy James Vocal & Piano Studio, and has been teaching voice for over 30 years, including serving as adjunct vocal instructor at Huntington University and Solo and Ensemble vocal adjudicator. She has developed a pioneering vocal teaching method called “7 Steps to Simply Singing”, an innovative and fun process to instill foundational principles and stylistic techniques that typically results in significant growth, confidence and improvements to the voice. A companion study teaches Biblical parallels related to the voice.
Wendy also offers a piano course based on the Alfred Adult Piano Course books 1-3 and Scales, Chords and Arpeggios. Originally designed for adults, Wendy has taught many students of various ages to quickly grasp the fundamental theory of piano and translating that to playing advanced beginner and early intermediate pieces within a few months of beginning piano. She teaches how to play chords in correct inversions so that the student may almost immediately enjoy playing lead sheets (the type universally played by musicians everywhere such as in worship bands, pop bands, etc).
Wendy is currently growing her Vocal and Art Studio while writing, performing, teaching, preparing for new recordings and leading adult and children’s worship.