My life has never been the same since August 1990 when God led the Egler family to pack up our home into a Uhaul and relocate from Cleveland, Ohio to Wheaton, IL.
Sold our home the day before we left town, had no idea where our 3 little children ages 2, 4, and 7 would attend school. My husband Calvin resigned from his position at a major corporation downtown and as a Youth Pastor at our church. And I resigned from teaching kindergarten after 10 years in Cleveland’s inner city. No close relatives in Chicago, would we find another loving church family to worship with? I so enjoyed the Wheaton College Gospel Choir for the first time during African American History Month at my church. We were hosted “Black History at the White House” and GC was on its first President’s Day Weekend Tour. Sis. Davis and her daughter Jenai, one of our youth who was then studying flute at Wheaton’s Conservatory of Music scheduled GC as our special guests from Wheaton, IL, - a place I had never heard of. This multi-culturally diverse choir of students came and sang songs I was familiar with and we immediately bonded in the Spirit during our time of worship. During the offering time I led my choir in the song, When All God’s Children Get Together – What a Time. And what a time we all had!
Rodney and Hasana Sisco, and Professor Darlene Hannah were all traveling with the choir and they were talking to people at an admissions info table. Calvin had been busy applying at various schools and bible colleges and he was very interested in knowing more about Wheaton College. Little did I realize that the wheels were turning in their heads and God was once again ordering our steps! They knew the original students who began the ministry were all about to graduate in only a couple of months, so they were already beginning to wonder who would lead the choir in the next fall semester.
Once my husband was done with the process of applying, interviewing and waiting, my greatest hope was just to be a part of this choir that had inspired me to live a life that glorifies God by bridging the gap between people of different cultures. Fall semester began and God taught me how to “jump in with both feet” during the first auditions process when the choir grew unexpectedly from 33 to 92 students! We have enjoyed pouring into each other’s lives and learning from each other’s experiences. I love the fact that we can still keep in touch and I can witness God in action as students live out their lives for God’s glory! Many have gone on to lead their own music ministries, teach, pastor, counsel, practice medicine, and serve on the mission field. We have many, many GC couples who have met in choir and are now married with their own families. I love chatting with them and seeing their photos on Facebook! One of my favorite things to do is travel and visit alumni in various locations whenever I have the opportunity.
I am so excited to plan this 25th year celebration with our students this year. I am enjoying our times of sharing stories from over the years with our current students. Alumni often stop in our rehearsals and share tour stories and fun times. I will be sharing more on our blog as the months lead up to the Reunion weekend. I am certainly looking forward to ALL of our alumni returning for the REUNION CONCERT on April 28th at 4pm in Edman Chapel. My prayer is that our Gospel Choir family will mark their calendars, begin to book their airline tickets and make plans to attend! This is SO EXCITING! We have a full weekend of events planned in celebration of God’s faithfulness. I can hardly wait to see everyone! Please continue to check our blog and Facebook page for continuous updates.