Recording artist Zach Williams is no stranger to Palm Beach Atlantic University’s chapel stage, having played with the chapel band during his years as student.
He returns this week to perform during Christival, which begins Wednesday. Joining him are fellow alums Lance Villio, Ryan McDermott and Jason McDonell.
The band members have played together for multiple years on and off PBA stages, said Villio, a drummer who now lives in New York City. “We are all based in different parts of the country and could not be more thrilled to reunited for this special occasion,” he said.
Christival is a multi-day series of chapels each semester with guest evangelists and praise music. Chapels will be held at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in the Rubin Arena, and a worship concert will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the arena. The services are open to the PBA community.
JR Vassar, founding and lead pastor of Apostles Church NYC, is this year’s keynote speaker. Apostles Church NYC is a growing and diverse Christ-centered community seeking to renew the city with the message and mercy of Christ.
Pastor Vassar is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and lives with his wife, Ginger, and three children in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
New York City was where Williams and fellow alum Caleb Clardy moved after graduation in 2006 to plant a church. Williams is now recording an album in Nashville with his band.
Through Williams, Villio learned about Restore, an organization that rescues victims of human trafficking. After serving with the organization for more than two years, he now works full-time as Restore’s operation manager.
"While a senior at PBA I was praying and asking God where He wanted me after college," Villio recalled. "He strongly answered during a Restore presentation during my visit to New York City."
McDermott, the PBA worship band’s former bass player, and McDonell, the guitarist, also will return to play for Christival. McDermott is student ministries pastor at Christ Fellowship, and McDonell is active in the music ministry at Palm Beach Community Church.