playwright and poet

A Passion for the Arts

Central Park
Preaching Sepia

Ragan Courtney is a communicator. As a ninth grader he had his first poem published, and this event directed him into a study of literature and a career in writing. When he graduated from Louisiana College, he enrolled in The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, but left after one semester to study acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater in New York City. After graduating from the Playhouse, Ragan worked at various jobs in the city while working toward the goal of a career in theater. His break came when he and his cousin, C.C. Courtney, wrote and starred in the musical, "Earl of Ruston." After touring the South the show opened on Broadway in the Billy Rose Theater, but it closed within a week. Devastated at this sense of failure, Ragan was deeply depressed; however, at his lowest point he had a profound spiritual experience that transformed his life.

Out of this experience he wrote, “Celebrate Life!" with his good friend Buryl Red that went on to sell over a million copies and be performed in countless venues.  He then wrote, "Bright, New Wings," with his wife, Cynthia Clawson, and it, too, was a success. In addition to "Celebrate Life!" and "Bright, New Wings," Courtney has written and published the following church musicals: "Beginnings," "Lottie D.," "Acts," "In the Name of the Lord," "Song of Bethlehem," "Angels," "In Obedience," and "Room at the Inn," to name a few.
He also wrote and published five books of poetry. They are: Poems, by Broadman Press; The Wind I Soar On and Death Has Set My Mind on Fire, by Triune Publishing; Suddenly Single, by Zondervan Publishers; and Three Voices, by Convention Press.

Ragan taught at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; worked for the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, Tennessee as a Drama and Worship Consultant; and was the Director of the Center for Christianity and the Arts at Houston Baptist University. He has conducted countless workshops across the country on creative worship. Additionally, he has written, directed, and performed in plays and pageants for nearly 25 years including the remarkable presentation "A Christmas Spectacular" at Houston's First Baptist Church. 

Ragan lives in Houston with his wife where he continues writing, directing, and consulting for the theatrical productions of Jeannette Clift George and The Imperial Performing Arts.