Third Culture Worship was founded by Vaughn and Irene Thompson and has now evolved into a new expression with the addition of new member Randy Johnson. Vaughn who is of Korean American descent coupled with Irene who is Mexican have teamed up with long time college friend Randy Johnson with his gritty gospel and R&B sound to create a diverse musical expression they call the Mixfits. A Mixfit is a term that they have coined to change the negative connotation of being “misfits” into a positive affirmation of being a Mixfit. Someone who embraces their cultural uniqueness as a superpower and not a handicap. In other words they take all of their cultural influences and they are the remix.
Vaughn Thompson Jr. is a worship leader/singer/songwriter and the Worship Pastor of Cathedral of Faith, a multi-cultural, multi-site, 7,000 member church in San Jose, CA. Vaughn is a graduate of Lee University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry. He has also received his Masters’ in Theology with an emphasis in Worship and the Arts from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.
He has written and taught classes for Worship Leader Magazine, and has been the guest speaker for conferences, workshops, services, corporate events and more. Vaughn travels and leads with his wife Irene Marin Thompson, who is an accomplished worship leader in her own right, and together they have formed Third Culture Worship (TCW) and now with addition of Randy Johnson they have formed “The Misfits.” They also have a clothing line – I Am Third Culture, the I Am Third Culture podcast, resources for misfits to become mixfits, and much more on the way!
On another note: He loves the 80’s, golf, music, food, Jordans, Kimchi, and a good laugh.
My Third Culture Experience
Third Culture people are those who are raised in the midst of multiple cultures and often engage in a lifelong search for a sense of identity, belonging, and “home”. They cannot be defined by any one culture, therefore they naturally integrate elements of their surrounding culture(s) into their birth culture(s) thus creating a unique “Third Culture.” What begins, as a survival method actually becomes a way of life.
This has been true of my own journey, especially as someone born to a Korean mother and a Caucasian father and having lived in various ethnocentric neighborhoods as a Third culture kid. I never fully identified with any one culture and spent most of my youth feeling confused and at times resentful of my mixed heritage. It was a painful journey but one that has led me to find that my true identity is in God and not culture. What I once saw as destructive pain, I now see was divine purpose.
Irene Marin Thompson is a worship leader/singer/songwriter leading worship on staff in the creative arts at Cathedral of Faith in San Jose, CA. She graduated from LIFE Pacific College with a BA in biblical studies w/ an emphasis in youth ministry. She grew up in So Cal pastoring with her father and is bilingual, leading in Spanish as well. She has been a guest speaker for women’s conferences and special events encouraging others in their faith, purpose and identity in Christ. Together with Vaughn, they continue to launch resources that help people encounter God and know “they belong” through I Am Third Culture and Third Culture Worship.
On another note: She loves family, anything Zion, books, parenting resources, interior design, coffee shops, Mexican hot chocolate, making and saving memories, parties and hospitality, meeting new people, helping people get connected.
Randy Johnson was born and raised in Rochester, NY. Randy later attended Lee University where he met Vaughn Thompson Jr. and his passion for singing and music flourished as they began singing in choirs and churches together. During his time at Lee he also met his wife Charryse. They have two children (Randy and Cierra). In 2006 Randy began his journey of full time ministry as a worship leader in Charlotte, NC and has been going strong ever since. Some of his other interest include being a die hard Buffalo Bills fan and a strong advocate of Michael Jordan being the Goat.