Matt, Megan, and Dakota!

Graduate Profile: Matt and Megan Harshbarger Team Up at Cornerstone Church

In 2014 Matt and Megan Harshbarger graduated from OCU with degrees in Worship Leadership.  Today they serve together at Cornerstone Church in Akron, Ohio.  Matt is the Worship and Production Arts Director, and Megan is the Worship and Creative Arts Director.

Megan produces and directs all services and special events, coordinating and co-leading worship teams at Cornerstone’s Mogadore and Portage Lakes campuses.  Matt guides and directs worship and production teams for weekend services and special events.  Together they support Senior Pastor Brenda Young and Mogadore Campus Lead Pastor Gordon Hayberg, who are also OCU graduates.

Cornerstone’s mission is “to help people find the Father, a family, and a fulfilling future.”  All activity focuses on achieving this mission with the aim of passing this faith to next generations.  Cornerstone members apply these values guide their efforts: 1) Be servant leaders, 2) treat others as we would like to be treated, 3) be blessed to be a blessing, and 4) value innovation and creativity.

Matt attributes his success at Cornerstone to OCU: “OCU was instrumental in my preparation for worship ministry.  Not only did I improve my musical skills, but I received a solid biblical background through a catalog of classes.  The opportunities afforded me to learn leading worship were invaluable. Whether it was in cafes, chapel, Ablaze, or revivals, I received numerous opportunities to gain real world experience in leading worship.  Being able to do an internship in an actual church was a game-changer for me.  Preparing for the future in an established church with an environment that promotes learning, was an experience that I would never trade for anything.” 

For Matt, the best thing about OCU’s worship program are the professors who are truly there to give students the best possible education: “They’ll go above and beyond to help with just about anything.  They are knowledgeable and experienced, and pass on their experience in helpful ways.  If it wasn’t for them, my college experience would have been for nothing.”

Likewise, Megan feels her OCU education greatly benefits her at Cornerstone: “I was given opportunity to mentor and lead small groups. I lead worship both in chapel, on the travel team Ablaze year-round, and in revival.  I traveled to Georgia and interned, gaining hands-on experience at Rock Springs Church.  Such opportunities, partnered with the strong biblical foundation and practical teaching at Ohio Christian provided me a solid groundwork for my real-world experience in ministry.  The university offers students with passion, drive, and vision not only opportunities for leadership and innovation, but also challenges us to lean into these characteristics and succeed at them.”

“Cornerstone Church is in a season of incredible growth and change,” she explains.  “We are moving from our location of 30+ years to a local elementary school where we will take on the new role of serving a mobile site!  I can’t begin to describe the excitement and anticipation that wells up in my heart at all God has done and will be doing throughout this new endeavor.  Looking back, I would never have imagined that I, alongside Matthew, would be leading with such an incredible team in this capacity.  God has awarded us incredible opportunities to learn and grow while we’ve been here at Cornerstone and without our time at OCU, we would never be here.”

“Cornerstone Church is a community entrenched church. We love on our community with ferocity. Now that we are located in an elementary school, we have the opportunity to creatively love on and care for our community even more!  Not only do I get to strategically plan our weekend services and special events, I also plan some of our big outreach opportunities.  My mind explodes thinking of what we can do for our local school system and all we can do to reach the families within the walls of this elementary school!”

“At OCU my faith was shaped significantly through small group ministries and community development on campus,” Megan shares. “Some of my greatest friendships and deepest spiritual growth happened within my apartment alongside 12-15 women who loved, cared for, and provided for one another in a way that beautifully represented the early church.  I look back at those times at OCU and treasure them.  To this day, I value small groups and mentoring relationships as my strongest avenue of growth in my own life and walk with Christ.”

About OCU

Ohio Christian University is committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs for residential undergraduate students, graduate students, and adult and online students. Every program is designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families, and the world.