Ellington Porter Using His Experiences To Inspire NCU Music Programs
North Central University’s College of Fine Arts hired a new professor at the beginning of fall semester, bringing his musical style and gospel influence to campus. The new associate professor of fine arts, Ellington Porter, is a recording artist with more than 10 albums. He has also been a worship director and pastor. At North Central, he combines his skills with teaching in the classroom. Porter earned a master of arts in music and worship leading from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he is currently pursuing a doctorate in worship studies.
His role on campus is as varied as his past experience. He is teaching recital performance, worship choir, vocal lessons, and working extensively with Worship Live. Porter has brought a new, upbeat, and vocal-driven musical worship through the new Worship Live teams this year. Although he is just finishing his first year of teaching, many students say the College of Fine Arts has gone to the next level with this new faculty addition.
“Professor Porter is fun, loud, and encouraging,” said Senior Music Pastor major Cole Anderson, who has been studying voice under Porter since January. “He has helped me become more confident in who I am as a vocalist, songwriter, and worship leader.”
Teaching in Minneapolis is a homecoming of sorts for Porter, who grew up in St. Paul and went to Highland Park High School. But for most of his life, Southern California has been his home. Porter and his wife, Tiwana, and his son, Ellington Porter, Jr., moved from Sacramento, California, after North Central hired him.
Porter started his educational journey at Sacramento City College in Sacramento, California. He studied as a voice major and transferred to University of California, Sacramento, and focused on classical music.
“I was able to tour across the nation doing classical music,” Porter said, but added that graduating was put on hold for a while. Eventually he got an associates degree in both music and Biblical studies from Trinity Life Bible School in Sacramento.
Porter started leading Genesis Church, which is also in Sacramento, with his brother, Tecoy, who eventually took over as head pastor after their father passed away in August of 1999. The brothers combined to create The Porter Brothers, a gospel duo, and put out several albums. His latest musical release is “Champion,” and also features the Genesis Youth Explosion Choir.
Porter integrates his ministry and music. He holds credentials as a minister and was ordained by Potter’s House International Alliance, a ministry from Bishop TD Jakes. With his church, and his musical experience, Porter has lead ministry teams around the world.
“We’ve had opportunity with ministry to plant a church in Uganda,” Porter said. “So we’ve gone there several times doing ministry work, traveling across the country.”
In the classroom though, students say Porter has brought a fresh feel and has played a major role in the school becoming more open to different genres of music.
“He is part of the reason I am the musician I am today,” Cole said. “He has spoken life where other people haven’t and has helped me to become more confident every day.”