10 TALENTS … This group of dedicated musicians not only do live Christian Concerts, but they tour the U.S. with a ministry called “Stand For Truth”. From left to right on Sunday, May 30, 2021 at First Christian Church in Wauseon, Ohio, were Eric Wagler, Cortney Wagler, Tyler Moore and on the drums – “Zay” Ramos. The group participated in an outdoor morning service and shared about their ministry in schools across the country. (PHOTOS BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
Gorgeous weather for an outdoor Church Service greeted those who were blessed to be present at the First Christian Church on Elm Street in Wauseon, Ohio on Sunday morning, May 31, 2021.
As the group, 10 Talents, warmed up to worship that morning, everyone arrived carrying their lawn chairs and deciding whether to sit in the sun or the shade. Pastor Michael Doerr welcomed everyone, congratulated this years’ graduates and said, “We are also remembering all who lost their lives in service to our country.”
10 Talents, made up of Eric Wagler who plays bass guitar and sings, his wife Cortney who sings, Tyler Moore who plays electric guitar and sings and Isaiah Ramos on drums.
The members all live in NW Ohio and Southwest Michigan. Also in the group, but not present for the day, is Ryan Wagler who was in Nashville acting the part of one of Billy Graham’s friends, in a musical on the life of Billy Graham called Crusade.
The group has been together as Ten Talents for around five years, and were doing around 100 concerts a year, pre-COVID.
This year they have been touring a little, but mostly focusing on their “Stand for Truth” ministry in public schools. Up until a few weeks ago everything was inside with masks and distancing, or virtual, so they are happy to be able to perform outside.
Eric and his wife and his brother started the band and then met the other two from Adrian through referrals from other musician friends.
“Stand for Truth” is the name of their in-school ministry. They go all over the country doing daytime assemblies with free concerts at night. “We share the gospel and hope with the kids.”
“That is our main thing. My wife goes with us in the summer as she stays home with our 4 year old son, Judah, during the school year,” Eric said in a pre-concert interview.
They have a newly released single called “Elevate” which they recorded with Micah Kuiper, who is one of Toby Mac’s producers, and Juan Otero who is one of the writers for the Newsboys and cowrote the song with them.
The song is about elevating each other in a hard world. It can be found on Spotify, AppleMusic and YouTube @10talentsmusic.
For this Sunday morning service, the group’s songs were woven in amongst announcements, a time for Communion and the Sermon.
The songs they sang were “Glorious Day” from Passion Worship, “Do It Again” from Elevation Worship, “Beautiful Name” from Hillsong Worship and “Waymaker” best known as sung by Michael W. Smith, Vanessa Campagna and Madelyn Berry.
The music rolled loudly out over the neighborhood of downtown Wauseon. Situated right near Circle K and the Main Streets, anyone in need could hear the truth being sung and proclaimed from the east side yard of the First Christian Church.
Pastor Michael Doerr read John 3:1-17, aloud from The Message paraphrase of the Bible. He then preached a sermon entitled “God so Loved” based on that reading.
Some of his thoughts shared that morning included: God sent his son into the world not to be condemning Jesus was not threatening us, He was encouraging us all to discover God, to be “born from above”. It was a description. We all need to have faith in God. “
“We often see the world as cutthroat, survival of the fittest, the beautiful, the richest. If we don’t measure up, we feel nothing good can come to us. We need to look above all that and see our destiny in Christ.”
“We are not nobodies and losers. We are victors, the adopted children of God. We are to lift up our vision of the world around us and our evaluations of ourselves and instead, allow the Spirit of God to live within us and remind us that we are enough.”
“We are loved, not because of achievements, but just because we are welcomed into the family of God.”
He concluded, “What is the kingdom we see when the Spirit of God lives in us? It is founded and based on sacrificial, welcoming, compassionate, forgiving and renewing love. It transforms, renews and reconciles. It is based on the conquering of death through death. It ultimately rules the Universe.”
Eric Wagler then shared some history and stories from their ministry in the public schools. “Stand for Truth” was started by Joel Penton who played football for Ohio State University.
He won an award for humanitarian efforts and after graduating he was asked to tour the country speaking to students in public schools.
Wagler explained that Penton is very passionate about his faith in Christ and the idea was to reach kids with the gospel. 10 Talents has been touring as one of the “Stand For Truth” groups for about four years. The ministry is done in a two step approach.
There are eight speakers who travel for “Stand for Truth” and 10 Talents is one of the musical groups who travel. They play in the assembly at a school, and then the students are invited to a free concert to be held that evening, where they are then told about Jesus.
They are also each given one of Joel’s book, called Seven Lies Every Teen Believes. They get the kids connected with pastors and churches in the area, before they leave.
Wagler said he feels that the ministry is making a significant impact on the lives of kids across America. “I wouldn’t leave my wife and son at home and travel around the country if I didn’t believe that,” he said.
Students and pastors share stories of lives changed. For anyone interested in helping this group to spread the love and message of Jesus, they can be contacted at Stand For Truth, 24303 CR B, Archbold, Ohio 43502 or at email@example.com
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
HONORING THE GRADUATES … From right to left, each of these people who are graduating this year, introduced themselves as they were honored at First Christian Church in Wauseon, Ohio on May 30, 2021. Andrew Hoeffel is graduating from Wauseon High School and planning to go to BGSU. Haylee Smith, is graduating from Wauseon and will be going to Trine University and her mother, Becky Smith, is graduating from UT as a family nurse practitioner. Mackenzie Thornsberry graduating from Wauseon will be going to University of Cincinnati. There were some other graduates honored, along with them by Pastor Michael Doerr (on far right) who were not able to be present that day.