About The Author

photo by Daley Hake

To contact Jesse: booking@jesserice.com

Jesse Rice is a writer, speaker, and musician, who lives in Seattle-ish, Washington, with his amazing wife, Katie, his fresh-out-of-the-oven son, Ryder, and his Yellow Lab puppy, Boone.

Jesse was born on an army base in Fort Dix, New Jersey, and spent the next three years in Germany (that he can’t remember, but his parents have photographic evidence). His younger sister, Christin, was born in Heidelberg (and is now a brilliant novelist with not one, but two Masters degrees who lives in San Francisco). Such relocations became a big part of the family’s story and Jesse moved 10 times by the time he was 18, having attended three different elementary schools, homeschooling through middle school, and somehow surviving three different high schools.

Jesse also spent time in three different institutions of higher learning, including Modesto Junior College and Azusa Pacific University. He finally graduated from CSU Stanislaus with a BA in Organizational Communication. In 2009, he graduated from Santa Clara University with a Masters in Counseling Psychology (Katie also graduated in 2009 with the same degree from the same school.)

Jesse’s mom, Evelyn, passed away in 1997, after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis. His mom instilled in him a great love for reading and writing and is largely to blame for his now being a published author. Jesse’s dad, Gary, the incredible pastor of a church in Coos Bay, OR, married Jesse’s wonderful stepmom, Mary Blake in 2000, permanently grafting the Blake story into the Rice’s (and vice versa).

Jesse spent eight years as a worship arts director at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, CA, serving college students and young adults. He planned and led more than a thousand worship gatherings during that time, and while he greatly misses the people he used to work with, he does not miss planning band calendars.

It was while on staff at MPPC that Jesse met his wife, Katie. They had a few brief conversations and then she suddenly left for South Africa, living and working for nine months among AIDS orphans about two hours outside of Durban. While Katie was there, she and Jesse exchanged over 500 emails. Upon her return to the States, they decided to see if their relationship was more than just Gmail. Six months later they were engaged. They have been happily and adventurously married since June 2006.

Jesse’s first book, The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community (with David C Cook publishing) landed on shelves October 1, 2009, and is now in its second printing.  It has also been translated into Slovenian.

Jesse is serves full-time as part of the Youth and Family Ministries staff at the First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, WA, a subversive and culture-redeeming faith community disguised as an old Presbyterian church.

Other fun facts:

  • Jesse got a black belt in karate when he was 14.
  • Jesse and Katie lived in Tauranga, New Zealand for three incredible months during the winter of 2009.
  • Jesse was the lead singer of a band for three years called Third Floor Thursday.
  • Jesse spent four summers at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Centerin Mount Hermon, CA, as a counselor, a program director, a band leader, and a conference center emcee, respectively.
  • Half of Jesse’s life has been spent in small, rural towns, the other half in sprawling urban and suburban settings.
  • Jesse had a mullet in high school, MacGyver-style.
  • When Jesse graduated from high school, he bought a plane ticket for Nashville, Tennessee, in order to become the next big thing. It didn’t work out and Jesse worked at the mall for a year (Pacific Sunwear) before realizing he’d better go to college.
  • Jesse is part of a musical ensemble called Scratchworthy (with the talented and handsome Scott Scruggs). They never play live and they have spent the last seven years on a single recording project
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