Written by Sara Hook // Photo by Macy Cox
Several members of the singing group Acappella visited Harding’s campus for the Bible Lectureship 2022 program, many of whom are alumni of Harding. Bass singer Robert Guy led the singing at Highway Church of Christ on Sunday, along with their worship leader James McDuffie, as well as chapel throughout the week. Guy, a 1992 alumnus, said he was shocked when he was first asked to come for Lectureship.
“It’s an honor to be back here at the school and … to see the changes that are still being made,” Guy said.
Aside from chapel, Guy also led a daily worship time in Cone chapel focused on teaching new songs. He and the rest of Acappella were invited by director of the center for preaching Devin Swindle, who said much of his love for music was inspired by the group.
“Knowing of his ties to Harding and his musical abilities, it was only natural for him to bring his worship leading to Harding for Lectureship,” Swindle said.
Other Harding alumni involved in Acappella include Brishan Hatcher, Jeremy Swindle, Steve Maxwell, Tony Brown and current Harding employee Matt Nunnally. Acappella founder Keith Lancaster said worship is one of the most important aspects of a service because it is a community experience.
“It’s the one part of the service that everyone can participate in equally,” Lancaster said. “Not everybody can preach or teach or do some of these other important facets of ministry, but everyone — young, old, members, visitors, male, female, everyone should —- by biblical command should participate in making a joyful noise and singing. And I’m convinced that everyone’s voice is equally important.”
Lancaster is also the founder of Praise and Harmony, a program focused on helping churches with their singing. The program teaches the basics of four-part harmony and instructssong leaders. That program is the main reason he came to Lectureship, Lancaster said, because churches need to know what is available to them.
“We emphasize preaching, which is very, very important, but we’re not emphasizing the singing to the same degree,” Lancaster said. “And in my opinion, singing is just as important as preaching. I want to encourage everyone to sing and make a joyful noise, even if you don’t think you have a good voice.”