Have you enjoyed the worship team during chapel? Well, here is your chance to get to know the leaders of the team a little better!
Let’s start with the fearless leader – Gabe Belden. Graduating last year with a Pastoral Ministry/Worship Arts major, Gabe is in charge of producing Chapel. He designs the stage, as well as schedules worship leaders to plan each set. He loves the job that he has. He thinks it is an amazing opportunity to teach each other in the name of Jesus. “To worship and lead others in worship brings us into closer communion with God.” There is no one better for the job than him. When asked what he wanted to student body to know about Chapel, he responded, “Come audition.” The leaders are always looking to expand the team.
Benjamin Bender is a junior Marketing major who has been on the team since his first semester at OKWU. He became a worship leader during his second semester here, making him a senior leader! He has always loved music, especially in the context of worship, so being on the chapel team gives him the opportunity to use his gifts to give glory to God. And leading gives him an even greater chance to glorify God: “Worship leading, for me, is about creating a space for others to enter the holiest place, the place to which we were granted access when the veil was torn, to see the glory and beauty of God and be transformed by the power of His majesty.” What a blessing to God – leading others into His presence!
Brianna Hudson is another returning leader. A junior English Lit major, Brianna has been on the team officially for two years. But this is her first year as a senior leader. She became a leader because her passion for seeing others worship God continued to grow, and she has a love of teamwork! And being a leader has helped her grow herself. She has become more confident and assertive, as she used to be a very shy person. She is still shy, but she is more capable of leading in a confident way. And she wants to be confident, because worship is so important to her. “Worship to me is the magnification of God and His promises. I could never repay Jesus’ sacrifice, but I will be as diligent as I can in giving Him the praise He deserves.”
Leah Sawyer is one of our new worship leaders this semester, and she cannot wait to start learning from our senior leaders. A sophomore Music Business major from Weatherford, Texas, Leah has always been involved in music. She grew up in a musical family, having led worship with them for the last five years. But the OKWU Chapel team has been a great place for her to grow. She has found that the “ability to authentically and unashamedly worship in front of people has helped me gain confidence in the person Christ is molding me into and has deepened my walk with the Lord.” And what is amazing to Leah is worship takes on different forms for everyone. So, if worship for you looks different than others, that is okay! As Leah says, “God only requires a joyful noise!”
Jazmine Cooper is also a new worship leader this semester. She is a sophomore Digital Media Marketing major from Colfax, Iowa. She has been on a worship team in her hometown since her sophomore year in high school. But leading in Chapel for her is a totally new environment. “There is a lot of pressure to be on that stage,” she said, “but what I have learned from my year of being on the team is that the only thing that matters is worshiping God.” Worship to her is finding that space where it is okay to cry, to laugh, to feel when in the presence of God. When the song playing tugs at your heartstrings and you just can’t help the emotional response. This is how she wants to lead the student body this semester – to let them know it is okay to feel the Lord’s presence and be emotional about it!
These are your worship leaders for the 2020 Fall semester! Hope you got to know them a little more, and that you are able to worship well under their leadership!