Celebrating over 50 years of history in Contemporary Christian Music

For His Glory Tabor CCM

Tabor College’s history in Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) has been deeply rooted in the spiritual vitality of its students and campus community. Thousands have heard or seen these groups perform since their inception.

CCM is representative of Tabor’s global impact in church music, including composition and choral conducting.

Tabor’s contemporary groups have included, but are not limited to, The Commitment, Love Is, Alive Again, Forever Free, Harvest Crew, CrossWise, i268 and For His Glory.

The earliest contemporary groups at Tabor coincided with the evolving world of church music of the 1970s, bringing gospel and folk music together.

As one of the first groups, The Commitment was formed when tryouts were held for various music ensembles. The group consisted of 13 members and was accompanied by guitars, string bass, tambourine, piano and flute.

Under the direction of Robert Hauck, D.M.A., The Commitment performed at numerous area churches and neighboring college events, including the Jesus Rock Festival at Bethel College. In 1973, The Commitment was invited to perform at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colo. The event, called “Celebration ’73” featured Nicky Cruz as speaker and Love Song as the headlining band.

For His Glory CCM team

In the last 25 years, CrossWise, i268 and For His Glory have been staples at Mennonite Brethren events such as camps, youth conferences and national conventions.

David Martens (g’85), director of Contemporary Christian Music, returned to campus in 2013 to lead and teach music classes. He oversees Tabor’s current group, For His Glory.

After having 10-12 students in his original group, Martens has seen numerous musicians emerge. For His Glory is now represented by three groups, with students to lead worship in chapel services and travel to area schools and churches throughout the academic year.

Like For His Glory’s predecessors, Martens aspires to see the group travel and minister to churches, schools and groups nationwide.

Martens said he remembers sitting down with Craig and Lois Wollman, the creators of Harvest Crew, and reminiscing about Tabor’s legacy in contemporary music.

“The most rewarding thing is that I have students serving in churches all over the United States,” Martens said. “The continued involvement these students will have in churches because of what happened here at Tabor is really wonderful.”

Among others, the group led worship at the Central District Youth Conference in Inwood, Iowa. They also led worship and spoke at chapel for Central Christian School in Hutchinson, Kan., in October.

“It is really encouraging for our students to lead junior-high and high-school students into worship and that they are impacted by what they are doing,” Martens said. “We have students at Tabor now because of the ministry of our students in their schools and chapel services. It is deeply impactful for all involved.”

A look back at Tabor’s CCM history

The Commitment, 1972

(in no particular order)
Jules Glanzer (g’74)
Jay Huber (g’74)
Ken Penner (fs’72)
Bill Reimer (g’72)
Marc Goossen (g’74)
Brenda (Hofer fs’73) Follmer
Rita Kreutziger (g’74)
Velma (Reimer g’74) Tyson
Lois (Friesen g’74) Huber
Jackie (Barr fs’73) Cox
Sandy (Kliewer g’72) Friesen

Alive Again 1979 Tabor CCM

Alive Again, 1979

(L to R)
Keith Esau (g’82)
Annette (Faul g’82) Funk
Lola (Suderman g’83) Unruh
Danny Crask (g’82)
Phil Warner (g’82)

Love Is 1979 Tabor CCM music team

Love Is, 1979

Kneeling/sitting (L to R)
Monte Faul (g’79)
Jim Averitt (g’81)
Phil Neufeld (g’80)
Mike Justice (g’81)
Standing (L to R)
Ruth (Walter g’81) Anderson
Marlin Deckert (g’80)
Rod Suess (g’82)

Tabor Forever Free CCM team

Forever Free, 1980-81

Back (L to R)
Dan Bishop (g’82)
Tom Klein (g’83)
Brian Heizelman (g’83)
Lyndon Vix (g’82)
Front (L to R)
Denise (Rempel g’83) Heizelman
Colene (Wiebe g’83) Wiens

Harvest Crew Tabor CCM team music

Harvest Crew, 1990

Back (L to R)
Matt Gaede (g’93)
Sara Landerdahl (g’92)
James Epp (g’92)
Lois (Epp g’88) Wollman
Craig Wollman (g’87)
Front (L to R)
Julie (Janzen g’93) LaQuey
David Janzen (g’90)
Melissa Krispense (g’89)

CrossWise, 2003-04

Top (L to R)
Lucas Regier (g’06)
Michael Woods (g’05)
Caleb Mason (g’06)
Jonathan Regier (g’06)
Middle (L to R)
Sara (Waldner g’07) Trampe
Landon Tucker (g’06)
Daneen Landis-Coover (g’04)

i268 Tabor CCM team music

i268, 2004-05

Back (L to R)
Steve Lautt (g’07)
Trent Voth (g’08)
Benjamin T. Schmidt (g’06)
Middle (L to R)
Laura (Ediger g’07) Stirton
Keith Warkentin (g’07)
Lucas Regier (g’06)
Front (L to R)
Sara Jo (Clark fs’07) Waldron
Jillian (Brown g’07) Marsh