Skip to main content

Effingham Magazine

Worship Leader Alex Castillo Leads You on the Path to God

Worship Leader Alex Castillo Leads You on the Path to God

Story by Jenny Lynn Anderson


The journey for Alex Castillo to become a worship leader is circuitous to say the least. Readers may assume that worship leaders are born with an innate gift of voice and instrument talent as a child and naturally follow this path to adulthood. Not so for Castillo, who leads worship for Liberty Christian Fellowship in Guyton, Georgia and was named Best Worship Leader in Effingham County.

Born in Puerto Rico with two minister parents, Castillo moved to the United States at age nine having grown up in church and experiencing what it was like to “plant” churches.

As he grew older, he became rebellious in his teenage years, which led him into addiction. He started with smoking his first joint at age 13 in middle school and that became the gateway to alcohol, pills, hallucinogens and opiates.

Eventually it caught up with Castillo and he got in trouble with the law. At age 17, he was sent to a correctional facility that was operated as a boot camp for juvenile offenders.

“The facility was run by retired Marines and Navy Seals who wore combat military uniforms,” recalls Castillo. “We got up in the morning at 5:00 a.m., marched on the black top and did work detail every day.”

In addition to working, the juvenile offenders attended Bible studies. “Other than that, we had no contact with the outside world other than letters from home and a Saturday visitation for a couple of hours from your parents,” he adds.

A Life-Changing Moment

A particular visit from a worship group one evening became the life-changing moment for the teenager.

“That night a worship leader shared his testimony about how he had been set free from drug addiction because of Jesus. His story resonated with me and through his story and worship band that night, I surrendered my life to the Lord,” he explains. “I had never encountered anything like this before. At that minute in time, Jesus made himself real to me and I gave my life to Him.”

His decision resulted in Castillo desiring to read the Bible every day. “I became a disciple of Jesus and continued to grow in my faith,” he says.

He moved to Statesboro at age 19 and started going to church. It was there that he met his future wife Brandi. It’s also where he discovered his musical gift.

“I was playing the guitar in my room one day and I said, ‘I wonder if I could sing for the Lord?’ Right there and then I felt the Lord was calling me into music ministry. I had no idea what a music ministry even was! All I knew was that I wanted to just sing for the Lord,” he adds.

Soon after, he was doing roadie work for a Christian band and he was in Atlanta with the group when he asked if he could sing a song. “It was the first time that I ever sang in front of a congregation and I knew immediately that this is what I’m supposed to do.”

A Musical Connection

In 1999, at age 21, he married Brandi and the couple found the perfect connection since Brandi was also a singer and songwriter. The couple began writing songs together and led worship services in churches in the Savannah area.

As the word spread about the duo, so did invitations to church events and conferences around the country. Eventually, the couple felt like the Lord was calling them to do a traveling music ministry.

As the traveling increased, they felt again a need to recalibrate their lives because by then they had two young children.

“A lot of times Brandi would have to stay back and we just felt like, you know, God's calling us to do this together as a family,” says Castillo. They sold their house, began homeschooling their boys and stayed on the road for years. By the time their children were teenagers, the Castillos found their way back to south Georgia, settled down in Guyton when they started serving at Liberty Christian Fellowship.

Building a Culture of Worshippers

By 2016, the stirring within his soul began again and Castillo felt the Lord was calling him again to travel, but this time to Native America.

“And so through prayer, research and intuition, it led me to the realization that although I was Puerto Rican, I was probably also indigenous. So I just told my parents one day that I needed to know something. I asked my parents, plain out, ‘Are we Indian?’ And they got so quiet,” he said. “They answered yes we are.”

Because of this revelation, doors began to open for Castillo to share the word of Jesus and minister to indigenous communities across the United States and Canada.

“The message I have for them is there is nothing wrong with our culture. The perception has been we were evil, savage people when in reality that was a lie,” he says. “It is okay to worship the Lord with our drum, with our flute, with all types of instruments including our voice to create this art,” he adds.

No matter if he’s spreading the word of Jesus to his congregation in Effingham or to indigenous people throughout the world, he believes it’s his job to build a culture of worshippers.

“And most importantly, it is to honor God in such a way—not just on Sunday mornings, but in our lives—to honor God in a way that it brings glory to Him and Him only,” Castillo says.