Canterbury a time for reflection, rest

By Ashton Smith, Assistant Faith Editor

Every other Thursday at The Ritz in downtown Shawnee, students gather together to worship. However, the event isn’t just for the students of OBU, the Shawnee community is invited to this bi-weekly gathering.  

“Every Canterbury different students lead worship, making it a varied, special event,” Emily Wall, a junior who is part of the Canterbury team, said. “No Canterbury is ever the same, so it is a joyful, genuine atmosphere of worship. I love that it is off campus because it feels like a very intentional gathering of believers; there is no chapel credit, there is not campus recognition, but it is a coming together of students who want to worship our God.” 

Although Canterbury isn’t exclusively for OBU students, it does cater to the particular audience of college students. When the semester begins to hit hard, students can take a step back to refocus their minds during this event.  

“Canterbury is a ministry that was created with the sole purpose of establishing a time for students to get away and have an intimate time of worship,” Noah Graves, a sophomore also on the Canterbury team, said. “In the midst of classes, clubs, sports, relationships, and much more, it seems easy to get stressed or overwhelmed; therefore, Canterbury takes you off-campus to which you can remember the grace of our Creator and to give Him glory.” 

Canterbury also has special, fun events for the attendees, to help draw in more students to the community. Whether it be for a holiday or just prayer for the nations, there is no shortage to what is offered at Canterbury.  

“This Valentine’s Day, there is a Canterbury, so come celebrate the best kind of love, the eternal kind from Christ, with us this Valentine’s Day,” Wall said. “Closer to summer, we will do a commissioning Canterbury for those who are serving the Lord internationally or in different ministries this summer. You can see our Canterbury schedule on the OBU calendar if you want to look ahead at the dates this semester.” 

One of the most unique aspects about Canterbury is that it is led by the students of OBU. Through this, students can become more connected to the school and to the community that is created through the event.  

“There is a team who prays through and asks different students to lead worship sets,” Wall said. “Typically, sophomores/juniors lead in the fall and freshmen/seniors lead in the spring. If a freshman is interested in leading, he or she can email Emily Wall or Caleb Newton to at least get that communication started.” 

What it boils down to is that Canterbury is simply a gathering of Christ-lovers who want to give praise and worship to God in any way possible. By simply coming to one of the gatherings or getting more involved with the Canterbury team, one can help this initiative move forward.  

“Canterbury hopes to accomplish the same goal every time… give praise and honor unto the Lord,” Graves said.” In the future, we would love to see an impact this event has on the community of Shawnee, especially since it is located in one of the highest-poverty-rated areas in all of Oklahoma.” 

Student overcomes physical illness, glorifies God

By Isabel Palos, Contributing Writer

Many people realize their calling early on in life.

Often, people will receive a calling from a defining moment in their life through getting to experience something for the first time.

This could even occur in the form of God giving a clear answer to a calling.

Yet, some people simply do not experience this clear-cut answer of where they should go.

Hanna Joines, a junior special education and early childhood education major, said she never received a clear direction from the Lord on where she was called to work or go to college.

“The Lord helped me realize that I can serve Him in any field, but this one focuses on loving the people society deems the ‘least of these,’ and it seems as though that is an important part of Christ’s ministry in the gospels,” Joines said.

“I still am not one hundred percent sure what I want my career to be in the long-run, but I know that college is preparing me and giving met the tools I will need to love these people well and help them see their own value.”

Joines chose to study special education and early childhood because she believes everyone is worth being treated with respect and love.

“I have seen children and people with disabilities looked down and left out too often,” Joines said. “I want to show Christ’s love to these people and let them know that the things that make them different make them even more valuable. We can all learn so much from one another because everyone is gifted in different ways.”

Although Joines is passionate about what she loves, this does not mean she is not presented with challenges.

“The biggest challenge in pursuing my major is definitely the in-field experiences in some of the schools I have observed in,” Joines said. “This was disheartening, but did not necessarily make me rethink my decision. I know that the Lord will equip me for wherever He calls me.”

While Joines is not necessarily certain on what her calling is, she knows the Lord will grow her through the challenges she is presented within her field of study.

“There are many things in education that will be difficult,” Joines said. “It will be hard to discern how to teach certain children, how to interact with parents, and it will be hard to go every day for eight hours,” she said. “However, I think that the Lord will give me so many opportunities to make Him known, and He will use the difficulty to sanctify me and bring me closer to Himself.”

Even though education is something Joines is passionate about, it is not the only thing that peaks her interest.

Joines occasionally sings and just recently performed at Battle of the Bands.

While music is not something she pursues educationally, it has helped Joines in other aspects of life.

“I sing throughout the majority of the day because I think it is such a great tool to bring glory to God, and it helps my heart to rejoice in Him,” Joines said. “It helps transfer what I learn in God’s word from my head to my soul. Worship music is also one of the things that helped me through a difficult time of sickness and loneliness in my life.”

In high school, Joines had to be homeschooled due to lethargy and chronic pain. In this season, she did not know quite what was making her feel this way.

“I found out that I had been living with Lyme Disease my entire life without knowing,” Joines said. “During the illness and treatment, I was home ninety percent of the time and I slept a lot. I struggled with depression because I couldn’t do the same things as everyone else. I struggled to read or even watch TV sometimes because I had bad headaches,” she said.

“For some reason though, music didn’t [give me headaches]. God used music to draw me closer to Himself and make me depend more on Him instead of myself.”

Although Joines does not know where the Lord is calling her yet, she said it will involve her sharing Him with others.

“[My calling] will involve me serving in a local church and seeking Him in whatever it may be,” Joines said.

Joines hopes to pursue music in a greater capacity eventually.

“I used to lead worship at my home church, and I want to start doing that again,” Joines said. “I also recently began writing some worship songs

David’s Creed ministers to students and churches

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

OBU music ensemble David’s Creed provides students with hands-on ministry experience.
“David’s Creed is an auditioned student worship band that is charged with going out, with helping lead worship through music, namely through chapel services on Wednesdays,” assistant professor of music and worship leadership and director of David’s Creed Dr. Stephen Sims said.“And they’re also charged with going out into churches across the state.”
This assistance includes not only leading worship songs – primarily in the form of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) – but also praying, reading Scripture and giving testimonies.
“There are two main focuses: to lead worship through song in Chapel services here on campus and to also lead worship through song in churches across the state, in an effort both to promote OBU, but also in an effort to make more of Christ,” Sims said.
David’s Creed selects music from a variety of sources. Choices from Hillsong Worship and Bethel Worship as well as modern arrangements of contemporary hymns are all part of David’s Creed’s repertoire.
“We do a lot of cover songs,” he said.
However, the group occasionally plays their own original settings of tradition pieces.
“One of our students took the older hymn ‘At Calvary’ and rearranged it and put basically some new skin on it,” Sims said.
“So [he] put a whole new spin, a whole new set of music on it; rearranged the melody and everything; kept pretty much the same text, but updated the music.”
David’s Creed played the new arrangement publicly several times last year.
“It was very well accepted and very well received by the student body,” he said. “They led it in Chapel service one time and it seemed like the students caught onto it real fast. And we used [the song arrangement] at another church and the folks said that they liked the way that this music was more sing-able.”
This semester David’s Creed consists of Jordan Richardson, vocals and acoustic guitar; Morgan Randol, vocals; Cooper Fierro, electric guitar; Spencer Seeley, keyboard; Jarrett Richardson, drums; and Courtland Clark, bass guitar.
The group’s members vary from year to year and sometimes even semester to semester.
Sims uses an audition process to choose the musicians. Another student music ensemble 519 Collective holds its auditions in collaboration with David’s Creed since the groups are similar in type but different in genre and musical approach.
“Usually towards the end of the summer, Prof. Pierce [director of 519 Collective] and I will pick a date and send out an email announcement to the student body,” Sims said.
Vocalists form the majority of the students auditioning, so vocalists audition through a digital recording, before the final contestants are chosen to audition in person alongside the auditioning instrumentalists.
“We prefer audio and a visual recording,” Sims said, “So we can see them singing.”
Pierce and Sims make their choices for vocalists and instrumentalist early in the Fall semester.
“Maybe by the first day of class, we’ll have our final vocal and instrumental auditions. And that’s where the students actually come in. We’ll see them in person,” Sims said.
According to Sims, he and Pierce look for good technique, tuning, pitch, control, smooth chord transitions, and comfort and confidence.
“Multi-talented musicians have a huge advantage for both their individual auditions as well as flexibility within the band,” David’s Creed guitarist Spencer Steeley said.
Yet David’s Creed is more than just passing an audition and joining a group.
“I would tell students considering auditioning to just use the gifts God has given them for his glory, and to put it all in his hands,” David’s Creed vocalist Morgan Randol said. “Let him let his work be done, no matter what the results are right now! His will and glory above all else.”
The group centers around Christ’s glory, and provides students with an opportunity to practice Christian leadership skills.
“They’re going to be trained and cared for in a way that trains them to be worship leaders through music, in a setting where there’s going to be a lot of oversight through the university,” Sims said.
Leading worship allows students to minister to others through their musical skills.
“I hope [those who hear David’s Creed] are impacted with a greater sense of who God is, of who Christ is,” Sims said.
This goal of outreach and ministry led to the group’s creation in 2006-2007.
“The idea had been around for a while,” professor of church music and founder of David’s Creed Dr. Lee Hinson said. “A lot of schools in the country had contemporary bands, but they tended to be associated with spiritual life or something outside the music department. I decided that we needed a representation like that in Oklahoma for Oklahoma Baptist University.”
Forming the group allowed OBU to grow its relationship with individual churches.
“We wanted to reconnect,” Hinson said. “So, I thought, ‘let’s use this group’.”
The group’s name originates from discussion with the early members of the group.
“We were sitting in room 142 in Raley Chapel and kicking names around,” Hinson said. “[A student] said, well you know we want to be worshipers after God’s own heart; David’s was a man after God’s own heart you know, well, what about ‘David’s Creed’? And the name just took hold that night and I remember that it went up the line [of administration…] and it stuck.”
A few years after founding the group Hinson handed over directing the group to Dr. Casey Gerber who later passed the group on to Assist. Prof. Justin Pierce.
When Pierce created 519 Collective, Pierce passed the group to its current director, Dr. Sims