Heartsong, a group of four touring worship teams, acts as both an outreach ministry and a recruiting tool for Cedarville University.
Isaac Murrell, a senior singer and guitarist for the Heartsong Green team, said he has experienced the impact of its outreach.
“I first heard of Heartsong through my worship pastor and wife who graduated from Cedarville and were on traveling teams before it was called Heartsong,” Murrell said.
Sam DeLoye, a senior pianist for the Heartsong Red team, said Heartsong began about ten years ago, but the touring teams have been around for almost 30 years.
He also said he heard of Heartsong through a church leader.
“My pastor was a Cedarville grad and he told me a little bit about Heartsong,” said DeLoye. “My first exposure was actually some videos of Heartsong leading worship and I thought, ‘That would be really cool to be involved in when I get to Cedarville.’”
Julie Zavodney, a singer and part of the Heartsong Orange team for four years, said she heard of Heartsong because she grew up in Cedarville and attended a camp where they performed.
“They also recorded an album in my church (Grace Baptist),” said Zavodney.
Although Heartsong is split into four teams—the Blue, Green, Orange and Red—the teams share a common purpose. Zavodney said the purpose is to communicate the gospel through worship.
“In general, we promote Cedarville, but we are trying to share the Gospel with people,” she said.
When visiting campers and students, Heartsong presents the gospel.
“While I interact with students at camps and churches, I’m able to tell them what Jesus has done in my life, and that is one of my favorite parts,” DeLoye said.
Blue team senior guitarist Michael Pettus said, “(Heartsong) centers around proclaiming and growing in the name of Jesus, whether that be with people on the Heartsong teams or others.”
And though Heartsong reaches out to others for ministry, Heartsong members themselves are ministered to through other team members.
“For the team, (we’re ministered to) through the community that we share and the spiritual leadership of our team leader,” Pettus said. “Traveling as frequently as Heartsong does, clashes in personality are bound to happen.”
During Fall Break, the Heartsong teams traveled to Centerville and Springboro, Ohio; Orland Parks, Ill.; and Avon, Ind.
“You put eight people on a team, there’s going to be some conflict,” Pettus said. “(Resolving conflict), that’s one of the ways you learn to be more like Jesus.”
Pettus said he had many reasons for joining Heartsong, including his love of music and a desire for a ministry-centered career.
“For me, it is such an incredible resource to learn how we ought to do ministry,” he said.
To hear the product of Michael, Julie, Isaac and Sam’s work, pick up a copy of Heartsong’s latest album, “Reign in Us,” at Cedarville’s bookstore.
Conner Ghiz is a sophomore professional writing and information design major and arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. He loves listening to music and going to Roosters Wings.