Get to know Adam Cogliano!

Adam comes to us from First Baptist Church, Dalton, GA, where he served as Minister of Music and Worship. During his time there, he led worship on Sunday mornings, assisted with planning the services, and directed not only the Sanctuary Choir but also the youth choir, small ensembles, and handbells, to name a few. Prior to First Baptist Dalton, he served as Minister of Music at First Baptist Church, Valley Mills, TX, and before that at Grace Temple Baptist Church in Waco. Adam has the experience to plan and direct Christmas and Easter programs with choir, orchestra, and handbells, helping to elevate our worship on the special days in the life of our congregation. He also has experience coordinating and leading youth choir and mission trips. Adam received outstanding musical and theological training and excelled at his studies in Waco, Texas, earning a summa cum laude bachelor’s degree in church music from Baylor University and then dual master’s degrees in divinity and church music with an emphasis in conducting from Truett Seminary. Adam will bring a fresh enthusiasm for ministry as well as a deep knowledge of, passion for, and expertise in traditional church music.


More About Adam

What are some of your favorite things to do in your free time?

Kelsey and I love exploring new places and trying new restaurants. As such, we love

traveling, but we also enjoy getting to know our own city, which has been especially helpful during our first few weeks in Houston. We also frequently attend concerts (of a wide variety of genres), shows (particularly musicals), and sporting events (cheering on the Baylor football and basketball teams). Otherwise, you can probably find us at home hanging out with our dogs and catching up on a podcast or Netflix show.


Tell us about your wife Kelsey and your pets.

Kelsey is originally from College Station, and she and I met while singing in choir together at Baylor. We were married in Waco on June 16, 2018. She graduated with a degree in choral music education and has taught as an elementary music teacher since then. She is looking forward to her new position as the music teacher at Challenger Elementary School in Pearland!


We have two dogs with long bodies and short legs: a corgi, Wagner, and a dachshund puppy, Elphie. They enjoy sleeping, eating, and meeting new people (they have never met a stranger).


What is your favorite part about working with choirs?

While making music is obviously inherent to choir, one of my favorite aspects of choir is experiencing

the community building that occurs while making music and singing alongside one another. Choir members, no matter the age, often become a sort of family for one another, and I love being a part of  the musical and spiritual growth of an ensemble from childhood to advanced adulthood.


What are you most looking forward to at South Main?/What made you want to choose South Main?

When Kelsey and I reflected on our visit to South Main a few months ago, we realized something was different. We were of course extremely excited about the amazing and storied music ministry of South Main, but so many of our reflections focused on other areas, too--the collaborative leadership of the ministry team, the loving nature of the congregants we met, and South Main's heart for worship and service. I am excited not only to serve as Minister for Music and Worship, but also to become a part of this beautiful church family.


Words from Steve Wells

We searched the country. We reached out to music ministers, directors of university choirs, seminary deans, and anyone else whom we believed could help us identify strong candidates. Most of all, we prayed. And the search committee and I believe God led us to the puck of the litter. More than one trusted voice about church music intoned, “Adam is both confident and humble.” His college mentor called him, “generational talent - the kind of student who comes along once in twenty years.” I think Adam is God’s chosen and prepared leader for the next season in the life of our church. I believe he and Kelsey will bless us, even as we bless them. I can hardly wait for him to begin his ministry among us and for you to experience all the promise we have seen in him. 

Grace and truth,

Steve Wells, Pastor


Words from Nancy McNeil

All of us on the Search Committee are absolutely delighted that Adam has accepted the call to become our Minister of Music and Worship.  We were so impressed with his musical gifts and his spirit of ministry. We look forward to him and Kelsey becoming part of the family that is South Main Baptist Church. 

Nancy McNiel

Music Minister Search Committee Chair


Thoughts from the Search Committee


Guided by the Holy Spirit, our search for a new Minister of Music and Worship led us assuredly and joyfully to Adam Cogliano. Adam possesses extraordinary musical gifts, a profound faith, and a genuine heart for ministry. His passion for excellence will honor South Main’s rich musical heritage while visioning our bright future. Exciting days lie ahead as we welcome Adam and Kelsey into the family of God at South Main!

– Claire Frazier


Frederick Buechner suggested that God’s true calling is where one’s great gladness meets the world’s great hunger. Discerning what is necessary can be challenging as we walk into the future — and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. The intersection of this time in the life of our church with Adam’s remarkable gifts for cultivating musical excellence, personal connection, and spiritual growth feels both miraculous and ideally suited. Adam and Kelsey exhibit an infectious abiding joy. I look forward to the blossoming of this collaboration between the Holy Spirit and Adam’s greatest gifts, and all it will offer to South Main, the Coglianos, and God’s world beyond our walls. 

– Kristy Wade-Carroll


I've never been part of a group that naturally moved together in the same direction and was as unified as this search committee.  The Holy Spirit was in our work from the beginning. Although we had other quality candidates, it was evident after meeting him and hearing his heart and insights that Adam was far and away the clear choice. Adam is a gifted musician, but above all, he is a thoughtful and caring (and funny!) minister.

– Lauren Benesh


Adam's ease in communication with the committee and his enthusiasm for music ministry was evident. He expressed that he sees himself as a pastor first and that his ministry just happens to be music.

"I believe that my calling is first and foremost to be a pastor—it just so happens that the most effective manner for me to do so is through music ministry. As such, I seek to be a pastor in times of rehearsal, in gathered worship, in the office, and outside of the office. In rehearsals, I attempt to illuminate the scriptural truths in the pieces we sing and play..."

This quote struck a cord with me as I believe this demonstrates a heart seeking God first and is consistent with our other ministers as they pastor our church family with their individual ministry responsibilities.

– Greg Taylor


Adam and Kelsey are such an engaging couple! I felt an immediate connection to them both and found myself thinking, “they would be a wonderful fit at South Main”.  And just wait until you see Adam’s smile! I am so excited for Adam to become our next Minister of Music. I have no doubt that God’s hand directed our search to find the best possible candidate for South Main.

– Cathy Edwards


Please plan to join us on August 14 in Turner Fellowship Hall following Summer Seminars as we welcome Adam and Kelsey back to Texas with a Texas sized bash! To welcome them to our congregation, please bring a gift card that best represents Houston from your favorite restaurant, sports team, theatre, zoo, etc. Be as creative as you like! Bring gift cards to the Welcome Center on August 7 or 14.