By Rich Brown
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Ed Ingle has made a name for himself in tennis as both a player and coach. But as much as the game has meant to the Joplin man, there is one facet of his life that has meant even more: his faith.
Ingle will be the first to say that walking with God and sharing the love of Christ with others has brought him the greatest joy in his life. Through his latest endeavor -- his music, which recently came alive through his first album -- he that has furthered that cause even more.
Ingle plays guitar and sings on his new Christian album, “An Ordinary Life.” Inspired by God, he wrote all the songs himself in collaboration with his wife, Julie. Ingle goes by the name Edward Jewels on the album, which reflects a combination of his first name and his wife’s nickname.
Emphasizing his seriousness about spreading the word of God, Ingle said the main purpose of the album is to be a springboard for sharing the gospel through the music itself. He said the music is a way to connect with people one-on-one about the love of Christ.
“I want Jesus to be real to people,” said Ingle, age 50. “I just want to get the word out. If it is music that it takes to get into the minds of people that Jesus is real, then I will do it.”
Ingle was born in St. Louis before his family moved to California while he was still an infant. He relocated to Joplin 12 years ago and worked as a tennis coach at Millennium Tennis & Fitness Club before taking a job last year with the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department, in which he now coordinates tennis programs.
He said he signed a contract with Tate Music Group last March for the release of his album, which came out in June. It can be purchased at For-All Bible and Music Center in Joplin or on the Internet through iTunes.
Ingle said he never wants his music to be swayed outside the influence of the life of Christ.
Opening A Christian dialogue
“I use music for emotions and words for emotions to prick people’s hearts and minds; for them to be able to recognize that Jesus is real,” he said. “Because I want people to know the reality of Jesus. My music is a small effort to open things up so I can talk about him.”
Ingle’s call to this personal, face-to-face kind of ministry came during his first year in the Marine Corps, which he joined after a successful tennis career in junior college.
Before that he said he had never seen Jesus as real, but in the process of searching for something to relieve the emptiness he felt in life, he started reading the Bible. Then he ran into a Christian who called himself a born-again missionary, which helped bolster his faith and give him a new direction.
Ingle went to the Marine Corps school for chaplaincy. It came in handy when he got out of the military and began serving as a chaplain’s assistant on merchant ships, sailing to many parts of the world.
It became what he called an “international ministry” that touched the lives of many.
Ingle said he had never played an instrument until he taught himself how to play guitar around age 25. When he first became a Christian, he said he decided to write a book of poems and put them to music.
He continues to write a little bit in his journal every day.
Want to hear?
To get a sample of Edward Ingle’s music, as well as read his biography, go to www.edwardjewels.tmgartist.com.
Address correspondence to Rich Brown, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.