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’Generation Now Worship’ united by music, faith

’Generation Now Worship’   united by music, faith
PASCALLE BIPPERT “Generation Now Worship” comprises Gavin Sasser, Katie Locke, and Alex Loeffler. Joining them Saturday, July 15, in the La Vernia City Park will be drummer Aaron Hernandez, for “The Sound of Victory,” presented by Emerge Ministries.

“We came kicking and screaming, asking God, ’Why?’” April Sasser said, recalling her family’s reaction about their move to La Vernia from Rockport. They’d heard so many negative comments in the wake of the revelations this past spring about extreme hazing at the high school.

But the wife of pastor Luke Sasser was reassured by her faith in God.

“He has a plan.”

That faith has led to the formation of a worship band, “Generation Now Worship,” featuring the talents of their son, Gavin. The community will be able to enjoy the band’s talents Saturday, July 15, at “The Sound of Victory” in the La Vernia City Park, presented by Emerge Ministries.

Luke was a senior pastor at a church in Rockport; and around spring break this year, God moved in his life and gave him an opportunity to become the youth minister at the River of Life Church on East Southcross in San Antonio. The family made the move to La Vernia just three weeks before school was out.

Luke and April have four sons, aged 6, 10, 14, and 16 years. Gavin, the eldest, is a self-taught guitarist, who also plays drums and sings. He had his own band, “Spirit and Truth,” for a few years.

After moving to La Vernia, the family visited The Music Loft so Gavin could continue growing in his musical skills. Music Loft owner Wes Ashburn introduced the Sassers to one of his music and voice instructors, Katie Locke.

Katie, 23, teaches guitar, piano and voice. She has been singing at the studio since she was 13 years old, back when Wes’ business was located on Chihuahua Street (now the La Vernia News office). At that time, he held worship services in his studio, and Katie was part of the worship team.

Gavin is no stranger to leading worship among teens and adults.

His father shared that he didn’t think teenagers were equipped to lead worship, but a 14-year-old and 17-year-old led the worship and took their congregation to a whole new level.

“They proved me wrong,” Luke said.

“There’s a difference when you’re called,” his wife said.

“There’s a difference between being a performer and being a worshiper,” Luke added.

“Maybe Gavin and his faith will be a bridge to start to heal this school and the football program,” April said.

Having been a victim of bullying in the past, Gavin has healed and his faith has made him a very strong young man.

Katie has experience as a worship leader, and was once a children’s pastor at a New Braunfels church.

“Since I’ve been a teenager, I’ve had a heart for other teenagers and leading worship,” she said. “When we were young, we never felt like we were too young to lead worship, because we have the same Holy Spirit that a grown-up has and we can walk in those places with the Lord. And we never even realized that there were people who thought we couldn’t. It just seemed to be normal to us.”

Of the effort to unite the La Vernia community through “The Sound of Victory” event, she added, “My heart would be for the young people to realize that they can serve God whether they’re 5 or 105.”

Katie and Gavin are joined in their musical endeavor by Alex Loeffler and Aaron Hernandez.

Alex’s father is a friend of Gavin’s dad. Alex, 25, earned his degree in worship leadership in California and moved to San Antonio. He is currently the worship leader at River of Life Church. He plays guitar and piano and sings.

Aaron 18, lives in Rockport, but will be attending Texas Lutheran University in Seguin this fall. He plays the drums.

The young musicians call themselves “Generation Now Worship,” and are looking forward to lending their talents to the July 15 event in La Vernia, which will feature Stephen McWhirter and “Iron Bell Music,” recently signed to Sony.

Each of the young musicians has a favorite song that speaks to his or her heart.

Among Gavin’s favorite worship songs is “Yours” by “Elevation Worship.”

Katie said her favorite song is “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail),” by “Hillsong United.”

“I feel like that one is really relatable,” she said. “We all have things that happen in our past and this song reminds us to take our eyes off those things and put them on God. That He’s our help in every situation.

“When Gavin’s family came in, they shared their heart and it resonated with me,” Katie said. “We are equipping teenagers and anyone who feels like there is not a place for their gift, that there is.”

“King of My Heart,” by Mark McMillan, is Alex’s favorite song to sing. He also likes to sing “Holy Spirit.”

You will be sure to hear all of these and more as these young faith-filled musicians open up “The Sound of Victory” program July 15.

“Generation Now Worship” will offer praise music during the altar call and other prayer sessions and take turns on stage with Stephen McWhirter.

The group’s harmonies will certainly lead the crowd to raise their hands and hearts in worship. Come open to receive His message and blessings.

The Sound of Victory

Lee and Vanessa Rios of Emerge Ministries invite everyone to the La Vernia City Park Saturday, July 15, for “The Sound of Victory,” to worship, rejoice, heal, observe, praise, eat, sing, and fellowship.

“The Sound of Victory,” from 5-10 p.m., is free and open to the public.

The event will feature music by Stephen McWhirter and “Iron Bell Music,” as well as La Vernia worship band, “Generation Now Worship.”

Pastors from San Antonio and the surrounding areas will unite with local leaders in an effort to bring healing to the community by discussing issues such as bullying, hazing, depression, and more, to bring awareness and healing to those who have been affected or are not aware that there is help.

For more information, call Lee or Vanessa Rios at 210-872-4394 or 210-849-8533 or visit

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