Our Ministry: Ever Expanding!
We have had so many blessings together as a team throughout the years, and it's all thanks to God!
He has laid countless opportunities at our doorstep and we graciously say "Yes!" to what He has us do. So many wonderful memories and connections made that will last a lifetime!
None of this would be possible without the people who pray over us consistently and believe we are following God's Will for the team's ministry. We would like to thank each and every one of you personally!
The University Singers have had opportunities to sing at a variety of locations, and each is a new experience for all of us.
Our main ministry and financial support are from local churches. These congregations have given each of us the encouragement we need seemingly just when we need it. Each congregation is different, and yet, there's a common denominator. All are yearning for the message of God through song, and this team is privileged to be God's messenger! Without the prayer and financial support of the GOOD PEOPLE OF GOD, this ministry would be nearly
non-existent. We will be forever grateful for your love, support and encouragement.
The University Singers also have the opportunity to sing at various conferences. These experiences are unique and varied. While they are different, we don't let this affect the message we have for the audience. The University Singers have been asked to sing at Wesleyan Women's conferences, District Camp meetings, as well as the Wesleyan Church General Conference. These conferences afford us the opportunity of meeting many pastors and lay-leaders of the church, as well as many of our firm supporters from churches all over. Being able to share our ministry with them and keep everyone updated on our future ventures has been a blessing to us knowing that there are people who are partnering in prayer and finances.
In recent years we've had the privilege of singing at NCMAF (National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces.) This opportunity has given us the privilege of meeting Chaplains from every branch of the military and Chaplain Endorsers from over 100 denominations.
The University Singers were blessed to minister to recruits and Marines at Parris Island for 2 years. Throughout those 2 years, the team was asked by the Command Chaplain to come every 13 weeks as to not miss a single rotation. Through chapel services we had the opportunity to share the gospel message with each and every recruit that came through those gates. After the last visit to Parris Island, we, along with the help of the chaplains, added up the total number of recruits that had either accepted Christ as their personal Savior or rededicated their lives to Him.
The total... 9,000 men and women dedicated their lives to the Lord!
This all began when our directors Gail and Bob Kerstetter's only son, Devin, was at basic training at Fort Benning, GA in 2004. While he was there, he was only permitted to call home once a week, which would coincidentally end up being Sunday afternoons after chapel services. Through his weekly phone calls home, he would report that chapel was what got him through. He would talk about all the points of the message he had heard and all the songs they had sung. He was amazed at how open the recruits were to the gospel. Through this, God began to plant a seed in Gail's heart to somehow connect our ministry with the military.
But how? This seemed impossible. Then God made a way. Through the networking of a retired Navy Chaplain, invitations began to come for the University Singers to go to bases and share the gospel through song and testimony. We first received an invitation to Ft. Jackson and then to Parris Island almost immediately after. Had it not been for the retired Navy Chaplain's belief in our ministry, none of this would have ever happened.
The military runs deep in the hearts of almost every single person on the team, with family members or friends serving in the American Armed Forces. Because of this deep military impact, we all understand the cost each person could pay when they sign up, and know that it is truly important for them to know where they are going to spend eternity. What an amazing opportunity that God placed before us.
Some other experiences this team has had with the military include singing at the United States Naval Academy Chapel, performing for Military Chaplains at a retreat held at The Cove in Asheville, NC.
"Operation: Freedom's Cadence":
In May 2015, the University Singers embarked on a new journey. Traveling to military bases throughout Europe. More specifically, Germany and Italy. This was such an incredible experience that no one will forget! And none of it would have been possible without God's hand leading the way and planting the seed in our hearts.
Operation: Freedom's Cadence, or OFC, started out as a tug on our Director's heart in 2014. She could hear God telling her, "It's not enough." Gail didn't know exactly what this meant, but knew that she needed to say "Yes" to whatever God was trying to tell her. Not long after that, the message became clear. He wanted us to take His message to DEPLOYED TROOPS throughout Europe. We had no idea what this meant for us at that point. All we knew was to fully rely on God and He will make everything happen at just the right time.
In short time, God helped us raise the entire amount of money needed for the mission and paved the way for us to get to Europe. While traveling, we were able to visit with thousands of men and women from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines who are actively serving our country in a foreign land. This meant so much to us, a small singing group from Southern Wesleyan University, to be singing to the people that protect our freedom every single day.
A group of Media Communication students, along with their professor, accompanied us taking pictures and videos, and writing a blog during the trip so everyone who supported the team could follow along.
The link to the blog (with pictures and videos) can be found
All of these experiences have been such a blessing to all of us on the team, now as well as past teams. We know that with God, all things are possible!
"Thou, Oh Lord, are a shield for me. My glory and the lifter of my head!" - Psalm 3:3