For decades, OBU's weekly chapel services have featured musically gifted students and guests from around the world who use their talents to lead students in worship experiences. But some of the musically gifted worship leaders hold longstanding roles on Bison Hill as OBU faculty members.
OBU Campus Ministry invites various people and groups to lead worship during weekly chapel services, and several services are assigned to OBU's Division of Music. For some of those assignments, Dr. Lee Hinson, associate professor of church music at OBU, gathered a few of his musically talented coworkers to begin a faculty praise band.
"We often work to plug students into worship leadership throughout the year in the chapels assigned to our Division," Hinson said. "However, this year I had the idea that it might be significant to have OBU faculty members lead some chapel worship with a contemporary band. And we come from varied parts of faculty life -- from biology, to graphic arts, to classically-trained music professors."
The band includes Hinson playing rhythm guitar; Dr. Brad Jett, Hurley professor of biology, on lead guitar; Dr. Jennifer McQuade, assistant professor of music, as vocalist; Corey Fuller, assistant professor of graphic design, on drums; Dr. Casey Gerber, assistant professor of music, on bass guitar; and Dr. Michael Dean, assistant professor of music, on piano. The March 7 chapel service marked the third time the faculty band led worship during this academic year.
"I believe the purpose of anything we do on Bison Hill is to serve the students," Jett said. "That's what we were called to do. If my Stratocaster and I can serve the students by helping them have a meaningful chapel worship experience, then I'm fulfilling my calling."
The band also serves as a reminder to OBU students that they can worship and serve God in unique ways.
"I think it's a great idea to get professors involved with the student body in areas outside the subjects they teach, especially by leading worship," said OBU senior Kirsten Stukey, a biology major from Broken Arrow, Okla. "Not only does it provide an opportunity for students to see their professors in a different light, it is an illustration of how we can use all of our talents for the glory of God."