Teresa Gardner, Director
Teresa Gardner has long held a vision for seeing the Arts restored for the Glory of God and is the Director of Zion Center for Worship and the Arts (ZCWA) - a citywide and internationally connected center for worship training through biblical study and technical artistic development. The realization of this vision has taken many local, national, and international venues over the years and currently includes weekly classes, online studies, conferences, and international missions trips.
Teresa has also directed The Resurrection Dance Ministry in Charlotte, NC for over four decades where she still oversees and teaches Worship Dance Classes to all ages. In addition, she oversees a community outreach dance program for under served inner-city children and youth (Dancing Together - A Multi Cultural Youth Dance Program), assists churches in beginning and establishing their own dance ministries, and serves in an advisory role to developing arts ministries.
Extending beyond local and regional ministry, Teresa and the Resurrection
Dance Ministry have served through many international missions’ trips where
they have taught in worship conferences on biblical worship and the use of dance in worship expression. One of ZCWA’s newest venues of Biblical Worship Arts Education and Training is through online courses (www.zcwa.com).
Teresa danced with the International Christian Embassy’s Tabernacle Dance
Company for the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, Israel for many years and served as the Tabernacle Dance Company Manager from 1999-2010. As part of her ongoing ministry in Israel, ZCWA continues to lead worship/discipleship/ministry trips to Israel.
Teresa’s desire is to help the individual come into a deeper relationship with God through his or her own expressions of praise and worship to the Lord, to use the visual to enhance the corporate expression and experience of God in worship, to make God known evangelistically through as many art forms as possible, and ultimately to make His praises known around the world – covering the earth with His glory!
Teaching on Biblical Worship is a passion of Teresa’s. She received her Masters and Doctorate of Worship Studies from The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies and currently serves as a Board Member for the Ancient-Future Faith Network. Previous ministry experience also includes Christian Radio and Christian Television.
Teresa resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where for 40 years she has been
surrounded and supported by wonderful communities of faith. In her “spare time,” she is working on writing several books.
You can read more about the history of ZCWA and Teresa's vision for worship dance by reading her testimony entitled: "Dancing His Story" as found in the anthology Every Knee Will Bow - A Literary Treasury for the Advancement of the Arts in Worship, edited by Rekesha Pittman and Crystal Daniels.
Linda Sloan, Ministry Assistant
Linda was introduced to dance ministry in 1992 when she enrolled her then seven year old daughter in Resurrection Christian School and began attending Resurrection Lutheran Church. Never having seen it before, she was immediately drawn to dance as an expression of worship that was part of the Sunday morning services. Linda responded by enrolling her daughter in the children’s worship dance classes and began volunteering with the dance ministry. This led to her joining the Resurrection Dance Ministry as a member of the adult worship dance team.
In 2005, Linda felt called to full time missions with Zion Center for Worship and the Arts. Leaving her employment for twenty-one years as an insurance agent, she joined Zion Center in full time ministry. Currently, Linda serves as the Ministry Assistant to the Director and the Ministry; which includes worship dance classes, office administration, conferences, and missions. Linda has a love for the ministry's students and desires to see them grow in their technical dance skills, their relationship with the Lord, and the use of their gifts to minister to God and His people.
Ministry to the nations through worship and worship dance is both an important part of Linda’s heart and her call to full time missions with Zion Center. She's grateful for the opportunities she has had to minister in Israel (Israel is an ongoing part of her call), the Former Soviet Union including Russia (and even Siberia!), Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, Argentina, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Belize, and India.
“...but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind me and straining forward toward what lies ahead, I keep pursuing the goal in order to win the prize offered by God’s upward calling in the Messiah Yeshua”. (Philippians 3:13b-14)