IWU Alumni Releases New Album

By: Dezaray Barr

Prahyekt Won: Morrell’s debut album

Ronald Morrell graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in 2017 with a degree in applied percussion. Morrell attended IWU because he wanted to study music with a faith based curriculum and faculty. He said, “I was a part of seven different musical ensembles that gave me the chance to travel the mid-west weekly… I developed a knowledge of what it means to serve God first above all else.”

Now, Morrell is the Worship Arts Director at Hanfield United Methodist Church in Marion, Indiana. He is also a jazz musician who travels and plays around the country. He just released his debut album, “Prahyekt Won.”

He said, “My time at IWU made me who I am today. I always knew I wanted to do music, but IWU prepared me for the ministry aspect of it. Being a great musician isn’t enough. I was encouraged to use my gift to reach souls and change the world.”

Morrell said that his spiritual life is a direct reflection of his career. “Being a worship leader, I am in front of people each week with the sole purpose to draw people to Jesus. If my spiritual life isn’t lined up, it will show,” he said. “Also, being a jazz musician, I’m not always in the best of places. So, I have to let my light shine regardless of where I am at or who I’m around.”

Some fun facts about Morrell include that he didn’t know anything about music until attending IWU. In November, he and his wife, Arianna, will be having their first child. Although jazz is his favorite kind of music to play, he enjoys listening to country music.

Morrell encourages current IWU students to “be versatile and learn from every situation,” he said. “I never planned on becoming a worship leader, but because I tried my best to learn from everyone around me, I was able to get things from those who were planning to go into that field. God opened a door and now that is what I do… When you graduate from IWU, you realize that the world is big, but it is important to remember that God is bigger.”

Curious as to why his new album is titled Prahyekt Won? Well the inside cover of the album holds the answer: God can turn a life changing mistake into a life changing testimony. Just like it was yesterday, I can remember turning in my first assignment for arranging class in the Master’s program. After handing it in, I was quickly made aware that I had made a mistake on the paper. My assignment was removed from the pile and posted on the projector for the class to see. In explicit choice words, the professor made it clear to me that I was unworthy to be a grad student. This would be the final straw for me in my decision to leave grad school. At the time, I felt that my life and dreams had been crushed because I thought I had my future all planned out. Later that night God spoke to me and said “You Won.” I immediately told my wife that I’m doing an album called, “Prahyekt Won.” Due to the professors accent the assignment titled, “Project One,” sounded like, “Prahyekt Won.” God turned one of the worst experiences of my life around for good (Genesis 50:20). This is a true testimony that all things work together for the good for those of us who love the Lord. Whenever you are experiencing a situation that seems unbearable and puts you down to your lowest I hope that you remember and listen to, “Prahyekt Won.”



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

Chorale and Wind Ensemble Spring Break Tours

By: Kendra Housel

Every year Indiana Wesleyan University’s Chorale and Wind Ensemble each take an extended tour during the University’s Spring Semester. While both ministry groups spend several weekends every semester touring different parts of the Midwest, the Spring Break tour is a time when they travel across the nation. With past tours locations being Florida, California and New York, there is always great focus on the second semester to prepare for this week-long tour. “The students are the highlight of these groups. I am always amazed by the humility in Christ they exhibit while also demonstrating their exceptional talents,” says Krista Brown, who will be traveling with the group to Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, DC area, and Pennsylvania this year.

IWU Chorale performs with Gaither Vocal Band

The Chorale will be spending their tour on the east coast area this year. They will begin their Spring Tour, performing at the First Baptist Church of Tellico Village in Loudon, Tennessee by giving an evening concert on March 3rd and joining in their worship service the morning of 4th. That evening they will travel to Oak Ridge Tennessee and give a concert at the First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge. Next, the Chorale will head northeast to Virginia and give a concert on the evening of the 5th at Parkway Church in Roanoke. After their time in Virginia, they will head to Maryland and give a concert at New Life Church in La Plata on March 7th. Watch on FACEBOOK LIVE beginning at 7:00 PM (Eastern Time) on the 7th.

They will complete their tour up north, by first giving a concert at The River in Frankford, Delaware on the evening of the 9th, then by worshiping with Bethany Wesleyan Church in Cherryville, Pennsylvania during their two Sunday morning services on the 11th. Additional performances the chorale will give during this tour are yet to be announced.

The Wind Ensemble will be on a Midwest Spring Tour this year, beginning in Angola, Indiana at Fairview Missionary Church, joining their morning services on the 4th of March. That evening they will be in Ottawa Lake, Michigan for an evening concert at Whiteford Wesleyan Church. Watch this concert on FACEBOOK LIVE from Whiteford beginning at 6:00 pm (Eastern Time).

Continuing on the 6th, they will give a workshop to students at Wheaton Academy in Carol Stream, Illinois. That evening they will finish their time at the school by giving a concert. The 7th, they will head to Gurnee, Illinois to give an evening concert at Gurnee Community Church. The next day they will give another band workshop, this time at Jimtown High School in Elkhart, Indiana. After this workshop, they will give an afternoon concert before heading to Michigan to finish their tour. The Wind Ensemble will travel to Fremont Wesleyan Church on the 9th, Houghton Lake Wesleyan Church on the 10th, and Community Wesleyan Church (Marysville) and Rush Creek Bible Church (Byron Center) on the 11th. “I have always enjoyed seeing these concerts and remind alumni and friends that they are welcome to attend,” says Rick Carder.

If you are in the area and would like to come support these ministry teams, they would love to worship with you during their Spring Break.

Chorale Spring Break 2018 Tour schedule  – See locations here!

Wind Ensemble Spring Break 2018 Tour schedule – See locations here!


Written by Kendra Housel, writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing and caring for others.

Indiana Wesleyan University Phillippe Presents, February, 2018

Ever watch Groundhog Day, the movie where weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray), finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again?

Well, in celebration of this movie and the holiday for which its title is given, I thought we would go back one year and relive a small portion of the Director’s Desk note from February 2017. Here it goes…

In the early morning hours of Thursday, February 2nd, Pennsylvania’s world famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow. For those itching for a springtime stroll in the park, Phil’s prediction came as a disheartening blow to the senses.
I too look forward to what the spring has to offer. But until the weather shapes up, how about seeking out some indoor entertainment at one of our upcoming events at IWU?

Wow, the question is just as relevant now as it was one year ago. How about seeking out some indoor entertainment at the PPAC this month? You won’t be disappointed. See you at the show. – Phil Huber Director

Friday Night Live has been an IWU tradition for the past twenty-two years. The goal of the show is to provide a break from stress to not only the students, but the faculty and surrounding community of IWU and Marion. The cast finds meaning in fighting a war on stress, by laughing about life through cleverly written sketches and silly videos. Come to this event for a night of fun, laughter and no stress.


Tickets go on sale Monday, February 5th at the  Box Office or online. Cost: $5*


Download the latest Phillippe Presents – February 2018

Phillippe Presents – January, 2018 – MLK Celebration

5th Annual Living the Dream MLK Celebration | Friday, January 12 at 7:00 PM | Phillippe Auditorium

Join us as we mark Dr. King’s 89th birthday and celebrate his dream of radical, revolutionary love that still inspires the world.
This year’s concert will feature the five-time Grammy Award and Grammy Lifetime Award winner, Blind Boys of Alabama. A reception will take place in the IWU Student Center Piazza following the event. This event is sponsored by Indiana Wesleyan University’s Office of Multicultural Enrichment & Employee Development.

This event is free to attend but a ticket is required. You can get tickets online by visiting www.indwes.edu/mlk. You can also get tickets through the IWU Box Office. Please note that there is a limit of eight tickets per transaction. Also, tickets not claimed ten minutes prior to the start of the event will be subject to reissue.

About the Blind Boys of Alabama – Hailed as “gospel titans” by Rolling Stone, the Blind Boys first rose to fame in the segregated

south with their thrilling vocal harmonies and roof-raising live show. They released their debut single, “I Can See Everybody’s Mother But Mine,” on the iconic Veejay label in 1948, launching a 70-year recording career that would see them rack up five GRAMMY Awards (plus one for Lifetime Achievement), enter the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, collaborate with everyone from Mavis Staples and Stevie Wonder to Prince and Lou Reed, and perform on the world’s most prestigious stages.


It would be difficult to overstate the Blind Boys’ influence on their contemporaries and the generations that came after. The New York Times said that they “came to epitomize what is known as jubilee singing, a livelier breed of gospel music,” adding that “they made it zestier still by adding jazz and blues idioms and turning up the volume, creating a sound…like the rock ‘n’ roll that grew out of it.” TIME Magazine raved that “they’re always hunting for – and finding – the perfect note or harmony that lifts an old tune into the sublime,” while The Washington Post praised their “soul-stirring harmonies” and “range of cross-genre collaborations,” and The New Yorker simply called them “legendary.”

“When the Blind Boys started out, we weren’t even thinking about all these accolades and all that stuff,” founding member Jimmy Carter told NPR. “We just wanted to get out and sing gospel and tell the world about gospel music.” Mission accomplished. (Biographical information from the group’s latest album project, “Almost Home“.)


Phillippe Box Office: 765-677-2610 or box.office@indwes.edu | *Stated ticket prices represent the base price and are subject to additional processing fees.

Campus Intercessor, Dr. Jim Lo: December Prayer E-Letter

IWU Prayer Letter – December – 2017

Provided by Jim “Umfundisi” Lo, IWU Campus Intercessor and Professor of Religion.

Dear Prayer Partners,

I thought I would start off by sharing words of encouragement with you. God loves you.hears your prayers. cares for you and will answer your needs for help. Yesterday I needed God to encourage my heart.

I love listening to God stories. He used a story last night to encourage me.

Susan has been ministering to a needy family which a week ago was homeless, living in their car. They just moved into a duplex without furniture. Different ones in the community were donating some basic furniture for them to have and use. They needed one more bed. Susan found a bed for them but had no truck to transport it. She had tried different ones to see if they could help, but each shared they couldn’t. Susan was feeling sad that part of the family would have to sleep on the floor that night. She was ready contact the family with this news when the thought hit her, ” I should pray about this.”…after which the phone rang with the voice on the other side indicated that he would be able to help with her transport need. That night the members of this once homeless family had beds to sleep in. Coincidence? I think not! God heard… God cared…. God answered.

My heart is full of faith that our God loves us. cares for us.and He will answer our needs for help. Be encouraged in the Lord!


As I was walking the campus this morning in an attitude of prayer my eyes feasted upon the beauty of many Christmas lights. A ‘caution’ then hit me- I pray that Christmas lights will never overshadow Christ’s Light.

Thank you for praying for IWU. Your willingness to stand the GAP is a great blessing to our community.

View a special video interview about Prayer-walking with Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo || ** Watch on YouTube.com Alumni Here! **

Thank you so much for your partnership in prayer.

Allow me to share some prayer requests: Please pray…
  • …for our students as they travel home.

– That they will have safe traveling mercies.

– Some of them are entering into scenarios that are not pleasant. That God will be close to them.

– Students in my class on Evangelism and Discipleship are being challenged to share the Gospel message sometime during the break.

  • …for faculty and staff that we will continue to rely upon God;s strength to accomplish our “task” of teaching and equipping.
  • …for Dr. David Wright and his wife, Helen – They will sense God’s continual guidance and support.
  • …for Dr. Colleen Derr as she leads Wesley Seminary and for Dr. Abson Joseph as he enteres into the role of Dean of the Seminary.
  • …for our leaders and their teams:

– Chancellor – National and Global, Dr. Matt Lucas.

– Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Mr. Stacy Hammons.

– VP for Operations, Residential Campus, Mr. John Jones.

– VP of Business Affairs, Mrd. Nancy Schoonmaker.

– VP of University Advancement, Dr. Chris Young.

– VP of Multicultural Enrichment, Mrs. Diane McDaniel.

– VP John Jones as he takes on the interim Chancellor role for the Residential Campus.

  • …for Athletics Director, Coach Mark DeMichael and our athletic coaches who are helping to shape IWU athletes to be spiritual leaders.
  • …for Dr. Eddy Shigley as he leads the Kern Ministry Program.
  • …for Dr. John Bray, Dean of the Chapel.
  • …for Mr. Michael Flanagin, Division Chair, as he leads the Music Department and directs the band.
  • …for this Christmas season to be truly a Christ-filled one.
  • …For Christ to be glorified!

Also, how can I be praying for you? If you have any requests I can join you in praying about please send them to alumni@indwes .edu. Blessings to you and thank you for your partnership in prayer.

Your prayers are making a difference. Thank you for lifting up these needs. Feel free to share them with your church family. Encourage others to join this quarterly prayer e-newsletter by sending an email to alumni@indwes.edu asking to join the Prayer Newsletter.

Keep up-to-date on what is happening at IWU through the weekly IWU Alumni E-newsletter. Subscribe to receive it in your inbox | AlumniNews.Indwes.edu | (download the mobile APP on your smartphone – Search “IWU Alumni Newsfeed”).

Rev. Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo+

IWU Campus Intercessor – Professor of Religion | Indiana Wesleyan University

Pass this message on to other by forwarding it! Invite them to pray or let us know their email address: Email: alumni@indwes.edu to let us know.

Phillippe Presents December 2017

Indiana Wesleyan University Phillippe Presents – News and Note on Phillippee Performing Arts Center events.

December, 2017

Phillippe Presents – December 2017

From the Director’s Desk:

Christmas Time is Here, and It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas here in the Phillippe Performing Arts Center.

We’ve Decked the Halls and lobby with The Holly and the Ivy and Silver Bells and O the Christmas Trees are beautiful.

Come see Little Drummer Boys and girls of the Heart of Indiana Children’s Choir as they sing and play their percussion instruments for you on December 5th.

It will be anything but a Silent Night as the Chorale presents their Lessons and Carols concert on December 9th.


You will swear that Santa Claus is Coming to Town and he’s Wishing You a Merry Christmas as you sit and enjoy The Christmas Songs of the Mississinewa Valley Band on December 12th.

We in the Phillippe hope you Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and that you remember the reason for the season, Away in a Manger, the little Lord, Jesus, the greatest gift of all. — Phil Huber, Director

Read more: Phillippe Presents December 2017

Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 PM – Lessons and Carols — Division of Music Presents.












                                                              Don’t miss the Mississinewa Valley Band –

Tuesday, December 10 at 7:30 PM (FREE ADMISSION)

Celebrate the season with their Christmas concert, Yuletide Spectacular at the Phillippe.




Phillippe Box Office: 765-677-2610 or box.office@indwes.edu


Wildcat Care Pack – Fall 2017

MEMO: IWU Wildcat CARE PACK Reminder ….. If you have not already ordered one for your student….

Finals week is coming – bringing deadlines, group study sessions, and all-nighters in the library.

Now you can be the source of encouragement and help for your IWU student(s) & others by sending them a Wildcat Care Pack! Volunteers from the Alumni Association fill these survival kits with snacks like a granola bar, candy, cookies, nuts, crackers, popcorn, applesauce, and fruit snacks.

Let your student know you’re thinking of them and praying for them during finals week by ordering one today or join the Alumni Association in providing the same care packs to children of pastors and missionaries, or those whose families are in another country!

Don’t miss the deadline to order your Wildcat Care Pack!

Fall Care Packs must be ordered by November 21st

(*They will be delivered through the Campus Post Office on December 6th.)

Order Care Pack Online!  or call 765-677-2110 to order over the phone.

Our ordering system is not mobile friendly, if you have trouble contact 765-677-2110 or email alumni@indwes.edu


Gwen Jackson Releases Her First Book

Indiana Wesleyan University alumni, Gwen Jackson, released her first book recently. Below is a news release from Wesleyan Publishing House from November 1, 2017 about the book.



Expanding the times and ways to practice personal devotions is a permission author Gwen Jackson wants Christians to explore. In her first book, “Unforced Rhythms: Why Daily Devotions Aren’t For All of Us,” Jackson shares her journey from feeling defeated by daily devotions to learning how and when believers can connect with God. Jackson promotes connection over discipline.

The author recounts feeling plagued by failure and defeat as she strive to live up to spiritual expectations and forced practices that felt legalistic and lacking. Unforced Rhythms offers a life-giving perspective that gives freedom to believers to engage with God according to their natural Life Rhythm.

Gwen Jackson

Jackson notes that while there is a daily Life Rhythm, not everyone lives life to the beat of daily. Others may discover they live life to the beat of a weekly/ monthly rhythm, or a seasonal/ yearly rhythm. Attempting to connect with God outside of one’s Life Rhythm produces false guilt and condemnation, keeping the believer stuck in chronic defeat. Readers will find relief as they begin to understand the uniqueness of their own Life Rhythm, a discovery that will give grace and permission to engage with God in a way that comes natural to them.

Jackson, ordained in The Wesleyan Church, holds a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has served with her husband, Dennis, for more than 30 years in spiritual formation coaching, teaching and mentoring. The Jackson’s have served in local church ministry and as missionaries with Global Partners in 11 European countries. Jackson received Advance Leadership Training through the Freedom in Christ Ministries under the teaching of Dr. Neil Anderson and was involved in the launch and implementation of a Freedom Ministry within the local church setting.

“Spiritual formation is my passion,” Jackson said. “There’s nothing I would rather do than come alongside others to find freedom in living the abundant life Jesus promised.”

To learn more about the book, visit unforcedrhythmsbook.com.



Phillippe Presents October 2017 Newsletter

From the Director’s Desk
I was reminded today by one of my student employees that every month that starts on a Sunday also includes a Friday the 13th. Now, I already knew that little nugget of information, but when I heard it today, it caused me to pause for a moment and reflect on it.


November 9-11 and 16-17 @ 7:30pm November 18 @ 3:00pm Black Box Theater “In Eurydice, Sarah Ruhl reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. With contemporary characters, ingenious plot twists, and breathtaking visual effects, the play is a fresh look at a timeless love story” (Samuel French).

Tickets go on sale Monday, October 9th at the Box Office and online
General Admission: $10* Faculty/Senior: $9* Students: $7*

IWU Orchestra presents A Mighty Fortress
Tuesday, November 7th @ 7:30pm Phillippe Auditorium

The concert will feature renowned guest artist, Stephen Clark performing Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G Major. He is recipient of the 2016 Sir James Galway Rising Star Award and gives more than 200 performances per year worldwide.

The orchestra will perform Mendelssohn’s “Reformation” Symphony in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The work ends with a grand fantasia on the hymn tune A Mighty Fortress. The night will open with Johann Straus’s Overture to Die Fledermaus conducted by Mr. Davy Chinn in anticipation of the upcoming performances of the full opera in the spring. Tickets go on sale Monday, October 9th at the Box Office and online.

General admission: $10* Students/Seniors: $5* Children 12 and under are free

Also, Mr. Clark will also be sharing his musical gifts during a guest recital on Monday, November 6th at 7:30pm in Baker Recital Hall. Admission is free for this recital event.

Wind Ensemble Performance and IWU Singers Performance | Read More: Phillippe Presents October 2017

Grace Alone: A celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation | Tuesday, November 14th @ 7:30pm Phillippe Auditorium

The IWU Singers will present, Grace Alone, a concert on the music and influence of the Reformation. This concert will center on the three solas that came to define the movement- Sola gracia (only grace), Sola fide (only faith), and Sola scriptura (only scripture). We will sing classic works by Martin Luther (A Mighty Fortress, Morning and Evening Prayers, I Shall Not Die But Live) and J.S. Bach (Jesus bleibet meine Freude) as well as modern arrangements of gospel songs and hymns (Crosby, Whittle, and Newton). Tickets go on sale Monday, October 9th at the Box Office and online.

General admission: $5* Groups of 3 or more: $10* Children 12 and under are free All proceeds will go to hurricane relief efforts via World Hope.

See you there!

– Phil Huber Interim Director


Pray IWU 2017 – Dr. Jim ‘Umfundisi’ Lo

Prayer – As the campus of IWU is once again a buzz with student life and activity, Dr. Jim ‘ Umfundisi’ Lo is urging alumni and friends of IWU to set aside time for fasting and prayer.

The call for prayer is not just for Residential students but also for the National and Global students.

From Dr. Jim ‘Umfundisi’ Lo: Please join me in fasting and praying for IWU!

In my journal I had written down the words that Bill Bright shared at a convention years ago. He stated, “Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform lives.

Fasting and prayer can also work on a much grander scale.
According to Scripture…when God’s people fast with a proper biblical motive- seeking God’s face not His hand- with broken, repentant, and a contrite spirit, God will hear from heaven and heal our lives, our churches, our communities, our nation and world….”

In other words, the breaking out of Divine power can be released in a mighty way as we connect prayer with fasting!

For the past few weeks I have sensed a need to call alumni to fast and pray for Indiana Wesleyan University. God wants to continue to use IWU in mighty ways to equip believers to be effective servants for the furtherance of His Kingdom.

Will you join me in fasting one meal a week, asking God to continue to:

• Bless IWU
• Protect IWU
• Use IWU

I plan to set aside Wednesday as my time to seek the face of God as I abstain from food during the lunch hour. Even though you may be miles away from the IWU campus, you may also decide to fast during the Wednesday lunch hour. The idea of “united” fasting excites my heart. But I know this may not be the best time to do this for others of you. Just having you fast one meal for IWU, any time during the week would be a great blessing.

Thank you for considering entering into the discipline with me. If you are willing to take up this ministry of fasting and praying would you please email the alumni office to indicate your intent.

Rev. Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo, IWU Campus Pastor-Intercessor/ Professor

To sign up to receive the Prayer E-Letter, send your email to: rick.carder@indwes.edu for complete
details and to sign up. (Indicate: “Pray Letter” in your message.)

Written by Rev. Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Student Engagement, Indiana Wesleyan University