Growing up as a small-town girl in Minnesota, Rebekah Bartels has always been surrounded by music. Whether she was singing in church, playing in drumline at school, or harmonizing with mom in the car, it's been something that has been a part of her in every walk of life. But it wasn't until her college years and a summer spent in San Diego that her true giftings were about to unfold.
Rebekah learned a lot while spending three months in southern California living with 16 girls in one house for a missional project. Patience, no doubt. But it was also there that she began her journey as a worship leader. The leaders on the trip recognized Rebekah's gift and asked her to lead a worship team for their weekly gathering night. After a summer of being discipled in leadership and worship leading, Rebekah returned to college and began leading for an on-campus ministry.
As with anyone who has known and experienced it themselves, Rebekah learned quite personally and powerfully that there are no coincidences when God is at work. He has a beautiful plan for all, and the spring of 2006 provided such an example for Rebekah. With just one year left in her degree at school in South Dakota, she felt an overwhelming sense of needed transition. On surface level, practicality would say finishing school was the only option. But God's perfect plans don't always line up with human logic.
The very same day Rebekah was praying with all she had for guidance, unsure of the next step, her sister-in-law called her and informed her of a potential worship leading position for her at their church in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She didn't hesitate. Neither did the church. Within a short time, Rebekah was the worship pastor at the church, and it was a perfect fit. Three years later, she was led to the Twin Cities where she finished up her degree in Youth Studies at the University of Minnesota, and also continued to lead worship.
Rebekah would soon meet her future husband at a worship event in Minneapolis, and she and Chris Bartels were married in June of 2011. Together, they share a common vision and purpose for music, worship and creativity. They also both co-front their indie-pop project Bora York.
Pastor Mark Herringshaw once said in front of a congregation that when Rebekah sings, Jesus' name is lifted up and the things not of Jesus are torn down. That is Rebekah's heart when it comes to writing music and leading worship. Above all, she is passionate about seeing others, young and old, become enamored with God and his beauty, and in turn becoming who they were made to be - helping the poor, the hurting and the needy, and ultimately living in the purpose of God's love.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10