by Christina Spencer
Growing up in a very musical family, senior Joseph Lawyer has always had a passion for music. Between his gospel church roots and his contemporary Christian high school, he has a firm foundation for his musical ventures. This foundation was a gateway for creating the “Ministry at the Campus” gospel concert event that happened Oct. 13 in the Hixson Union Building Multipurpose Room.
Lawyer and his sister, Whitworth alumna Miracle Lawyer, performed, along with Whitworth’s Exceptional Praise Gospel Choir, and a few members from Gonzaga University’s gospel choir.
Joseph Lawyer experienced a turning point in which music was raised to a higher level of importance in his life. Lawyer was a high school basketball player and went through the unfortunate event of blowing out his knee. What would be devastating for many worked out for Lawyer because it opened his eyes to his true calling.
While injured, Lawyer was asked by his coach to lead devotions for his basketball team. Lawyer began to realize his main priority wasn’t sports, but spreading God’s message.
“While I couldn’t play basketball, I could still make music. Basketball became a platform for me,” Lawyer said.
Lawyer said he sees music as a source of universal power; it is able to go from culture to culture. For him, it is a ministry, and music is a means to be authentic with ourselves and God.
Lawyer plays the keyboard and sings, and makes every aspect of his music himself. When writing music, at times an entire song will come to him instantly, and other times songs come like a shadow.
“Music is the one thing that can enter into our heart and mind unintentionally,” Lawyer said. “My desire is to be able to help someone have an encounter with God through music.”
Inspiration often comes through other people: through encouragement and motivation to pursue our own potential. That is how Lawyer received his inspiration.
“My freshman year of college a good friend said ‘God has gifted you with musical ability. What is your legacy going to be?’” Lawyer said.
The next year Lawyer came out with his first CD, “Ministry at the Campus, Vol. 1.” It included music by junior Jessica Ziemann, as well as his sister. Following the first CD, Vol. 2 was produced last school year, featuring Ziemann as a solo artist.
“I’ve been involved in the music ministry nearly all of my life and it was time that I started pouring into the lives of those around me on campus,” Lawyer said.
Lawyer said he felt God bringing forth a mission of sorts to pursue the music industry in order to follow the call God had given him to spread the “Good News”. Of course, every mission comes with challenges. For Lawyer, the challenge was confidence.
“I had to remember that to whom much is given, much is expected,” Lawyer said. “It’s not about what other people think, but what God has called you to do.”
Entering his final year at Whitworth, Lawyer felt God telling him to do a “Ministry at the Campus” live worship concert to present his newest album, “Vol. 3, The Reality.” The event was inspired by Lawyer’s production label, Trilog3 Productions.
Lawyer said he thinks of “Ministry at the Campus” as a mission he can tackle while he is a student.
“As followers of Christ, Jesus gives us the mandate to spread the Gospel, and the ‘Ministry at the Campus’ series is one of those avenues which God has given me to spread his ‘Good News,’” Lawyer said.
Freshman Jazmin Andrade came to the “Ministry at the Campus” event to praise God and quickly figured out how much gospel music meant to her.
“I love it — how it’s upbeat and it really encourages praise to God,” Andrade said.
Miracle Lawyer said her brother has inspired her to pursue her calling as well.
“He’s been an inspiration to me. He’s always been a go-getter and has used the gifts God has given him,” Lawyer said.
Contact Christina Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org.