The room resonated with the voices of youth delivering their praise to God. Students from the Sacramento, Calif., area came to partake in worship and fellowship with one another. This night changed the lives of the young Sacramento population. It also changed the life of Nichele Powell, the organizer for the event.
Powell, a senior worship leadership major from Wapakoneta, Ohio, spent seven months in Sacramento at Impact Community Church for her PRIME experience. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in worship leadership are required to fulfill a PRIME
experience. PRIME (Practical Research through Immersion and Ministry Effectiveness) is designed to offer students hands-on experience for seven months away from the HU campus and to receive guidance from a mentor currently working in the ministry field.
“God chose Sacramento for me,” she said. “I know it sounds cliché, but after visiting churches out in California for a week with my mom, Impact Community Church was the perfect fit for me.”
The people attending the church welcomed her with open arms. After being invited to attend a worship band practice and one of the church’s services, Powell knew she found the right church.
“The worship pastor took the time to get to know me when we first met, and that stood out to me,” she said.
The staff at Impact Community Church kept her busy. She spent her work hours rewriting chords for the worship band team for any upcoming services and scheduled musicians for particular services. The worship pastor even placed her in charge of the worship night event, “Awaiting.” Students from the Sacramento area spent the evening worshipping God and enjoying fellowship with one another.
Powell’s mentor also asked her to lead the worship portion of service six times while on PRIME. She remembers one time in particular to be rather humbling.
“I’ve never been good at transitioning between worship songs when I lead,” she chuckled. “There was one moment where I meant to ask the congregation if they could please stay standing, but instead, I asked them if they could please stand sitting. We all just laughed about it afterwards.”
Once she came back to the Midwest region, she honed in on what her new career goals looked like and clearly saw God’s calling for her life. PRIME showed her that she would like to one day focus on worship leadership for adult services in a church setting. She also likes the idea of potentially starting a traveling music ministry.
“I’ve found encouragement from people, and they have told me they enjoy what I do musically,” she said. “I’m not sure what it will exactly look like, but PRIME helped me narrow my goals.”