Students to spread God’s word through music

Hope and Light are two Collinsworth School of Music small groups that will share their gifts with the East and West coasts for two months this summer by serving as camp counselors and worship leaders.

The purpose of these groups is ministry through worship, recruit new students from other states and be ambassadors of California Baptist University.

“Our summer small groups consist of six to nine singers and instrumentalists,” said Dr. Judd Bonner, dean of the School of Music. “They perform and lead worship at churches every night across the country.”

Beginning May 21 and ending July 15, Hope will travel the West Coast, followed by two weeks in China.

Devron Suttle, senior music composition major, is the percussionist for the West Coast group. He said he is looking forward to this unique opportunity.

“I feel like this is a unique opportunity to embrace the uncertainty of what’s going to happen,” Suttle said. “At the same time, I’m happy to have such a privilege. I just pray that when the moment and opportunity presents itself I’m ready and willing to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and how he’s changed my life.”

This is the second year Suttle will be participating in this tour, and he said he sees it as an opportunity not only to minister but also to build relationships with those he is traveling with.

“It is such a great experience because you’re forced to think a little bit outside of yourself,” Suttle said. “You have nine people on a van for two or three months. You have to learn to be patient with people, so it’s a really good learning experience.”

Light will travel to the East Coast from June to July, where they will perform in churches six nights each week.

The group will be making periodic stops in Arizona, Kansas and Texas and eventually make their way to New York before returning to CBU.

Jake Mizner, junior political science major, is a vocalist for Light. He said he is looking forward to his first summer small-group tour.

“I could sit at home for the summer, or I could spend my nine weeks growing musically and spiritually and spreading the gospel with a talent that God has blessed me with,” Mizner said.

Mizner said he believes Christians should use their talents for God’s glory. He said he feels he would be honoring God by going on tour as he makes friendships and develops his vocal and performing skills .

Auditions for summer small groups are held at the end of each fall semester and are open to students of every accademic discipline.

“We’ll put out a song that they can learn. They have about a day to learn it, learn their part of the song, and then we put them into groups,” Bonner said. Bonner added that the decision-making process is challenging; while talent is
important, other criteria must be taken into consideration when making selections.

Individuals need to portray a certain level of spiritual maturity and the capability of sharing space for many hours on a bus; they will also need to co-exist in a positive environment with positive attitudes being displayed at all times over the two-month period.

About Jinoye Henry

Staff Writer

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