Union student joins Australian music ministry
When Tyler Morrison heard Endless Praise perform at Union College last August, he immediately knew he wanted to be part of a group like them. One of Australia’s leading Christian music groups, Endless Praise incorporates pop, contemporary, funk and R&B elements into inspirational worship performances—it's a mix of music and faith that instantly appealed to the sophomore religious education major. “While they were singing, I remember whispering to a friend about how much fun it would be to join a group like Endless Praise,” Morrison recalled.
Little did he know the that within half a year, his wish would come true.
Morrison started singing as a child and learned to play piano in fifth grade. At Union, he joined a student musical group that often helped recruit for the college by performing at churches in a nine-state area. That experience lead Morrison to seek out the Endless Praise team after the concert. “We asked them if they could give us a few pointers for our recruiting group.”
“After their workshop Sabbath afternoon, they came and listened to our group,” Morrison said. “One of the singers, Cassie Wallace, asked me if I’ve ever thought about traveling for a year."
Morrison sent an audition video to Endless Praise's managers in Nashville and Sydney. They loved his voice and offered him a place in the group. He immediately started the process of moving 8,700 miles away from home, not everything went as smoothly as the audition process. “It became obvious Satan that was putting up obstacles, and God used them to test my patience,” said Morrison. “Doors kept opening at the last possible second.”
Morrison needed to raise $2500 to pay for lawyers to prepare his visa for Australia. He told God if nothing happened by Christmas, he’d move on and stay in America. It wasn’t until Dec. 23 that the visa problem was solved, and coming so close to the prayed-upon deadline gave him confidence God was working.
Then a final wall came up: Morrison needed to raise about $2000 for a plane ticket in four weeks. In the last two weekends Morrison went to his home in Minnesota and did a fundraiser concert at his former and current churches.
“In those two services, people gave me more than I needed,” said Morrison. “I bought a ticket and now I’m here.”
Since Feb. 4, Morrison has been singing in Australia, and he plans to stay for one year, making the experience comparable to the gap year many Union College students take to volunteer or study abroad. “If I feel convicted that God wants me to stay another year, I will,” said Morrison. “Who am I to go against God's will?”
While the move has been exciting, Morrison endures grueling practices on top of adjusting to a new culture. Endless Praise performed at a couple schools and churches in Morrison’s first three weeks, but Feb. 24 marked the start of the Alive Tour—the first traveling tour for Morrison.
After concerts in Melbourne, Endless Praise traveled by train, bus and plane to Tasmania. Endless Praise will perform at more than 20 different churches and schools in for three weeks in “Tazzy.”
“Everyone is so friendly and the meals are always good,” said Morrison. “It’s been really hot in Australia, but here in Tasmania it's beautiful weather.”
Morrison has also grown spiritually during his time abroad. He attended the Hillsong church twice and Endless Praise holds worships every morning. “God has used those two avenues especially to convict me of some things in my life that have been holding me back from fully giving my life to Him for ministry,” he said. “I understand I have a long way to go, but I’m ready and willing.”
It's already been a long road from being sitting in a pew and being inspired to sharing his talents on the other side of the world, but along the way, Morrison has found the doors that God can open are endless.