Chapel Worship Team Glorifies God’s Presence

EACH WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY MORNING, OKWU holds a campus-wide chapel service that begins with a time of honest worship. Led by a dedicated team of talented students, chapel worship is an experience undeniably filled with God’s presence.

OKWUeagle recently had the privilege of asking OKWU senior and chapel worship team member Travis Heck about his experience being a part of the chapel worship team. He also shared some of his reasons for attending OKWU and his plans for after graduation.

INTERVIEW WITH TRAVIS HECK

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Senior Travis Heck is a senior and member of the chapel worship team. Image/Lauren Nash

Where are you from?

Travis: Born in Vallejo, California, But I’ve lived in Oklahoma since 2002

What brought you here to OKWU?

Travis: A lot of friends and connections that I had with the school during high school. I took a few concurrent classes my senior year and met a lot of really awesome people that got me plugged in. Also, the worship leader for my youth at the time graduated from here.

What inspired you to become a part of the OKWU Chapel Worship team?

Travis: I’ve always loved being a part of some sort of music team. I really wanted to be a part of what OKWU was doing with chapel.

What is your favorite part about being a worship team member?

Travis: I really have two things. 1st) Seeing the team members grow as they get more experience in leading worship and playing on the team. 2nd) Watching the people worship. It’s always awesome seeing how people respond to the Holy Spirit when he moves.

What instruments do you play, and if more than one, which one is your favorite?

Travis: Guitar, Bass, and I can mess around a little on piano and drums. My favorite is definitely electric guitar. So many different sounds can be brought forth with an electric that it would take a couple pages to describe them all.

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Freshman Luke Purcell (guitar) and senior Yulia Pashchenko (drums) are members of the chapel worship team. Image/Lauren Nash

How much time is spent, and what all goes into preparing for a Chapel worship service?

Travis: It really depends on the Chapel service. Sometimes it can take a couple hours, other times it can take only about 30-45 minutes for practices. There’s quite a bit that goes into each Chapel service. Planning songs, getting a team together, Figuring out which version of the songs you want to do, what songs fit where, etc.

How do you guys go about choosing the songs you sing in Chapel?

Travis: A vast majority of the time we really try to line some of the songs up with the scripture verse that the speaker is using for that service. When the songs line up with the idea that passage is getting across, it really connects with people. It gives the songs more meaning and people can see where in scripture those songs are coming from.

What are your favorite songs to sing and why?

Travis: A couple of my favorite songs to sing are Let the Praises Ring by Lincoln Brewster. There’s a big guitar solo in it that is always a lot of fun to play. Another would be I Surrender by Hillsong Live. That song is almost always well received. It’s a very powerful song.

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Sophomore Billy Lopez sings praises while leading worship during OKWU chapel. Image/Lauren Nash

What are some ways that you have seen God move during worship?

Travis: One of my favorite worship experiences at OKWU was actually this year. Alissa Lloyd and Bryson Lambert were speaking in Altar, and I was asked to lead worship. I put together a big group of people for the set because I was asked to “pull out all the stops”, to quote Senior Religion Major, Skyler Wittman. I pulled out a lot of songs that people knew really well, but opened with a couple new ones that I thought were really cool. After planning the set, I didn’t really think much of it. Practice went well, and then it came time for Altar. I was absolutely blown away by how tangible God’s presence was that night. Alissa’s testimony was so powerful and up-lifting. Everyone that attended that night left with something in them that had changed.

What are your plans after graduating?

Travis: I currently have already been hired as the campus worship pastor at Grace Point Church’s North Campus in Topeka, Kansas.

How would a student go about joining the Chapel Worship team?

Travis: There are chapel tryouts at the beginning of every school year. Usually the second or third Saturday after school has started.

Do you have any advice for students considering joining the team?

Travis: Have fun and know your parts well! The school has a good crew of worship leaders for the next few years and, even though I’m leaving after this year, I can’t wait to see where the program goes!