40 Years of Student Ministry


Cadence Student Ministries is celebrating 40 years of ministry to the military!

In the summer of 1981, four students from Multnomah School of the Bible (now Multnomah University) formed a quartet called Malachi Singers. This group was the result of two Cadence Kids, Joyce and Dave Patty, dreaming and praying about summer military ministry while in college and their dad, Dick Patty, who was the Europe Field Leader at that time, believing in this vision. He told them, “If you put the group together, I’ll put together your first summer itinerary.”

Having lived in Germany for a year with their parents, Joyce and Dave experienced first-hand the incredible opportunities and needs of military students whose parents were stationed in Europe. At that time, Cadence (then OCSC) primarily ministered to military people through hospitality houses and servicemen’s centers, but there was little focus on their teenage dependents.

As a 19-year-old Freshman at Multnomah that year, I had no idea how trying out for this singing/drama team would change my life. Forty years ago this summer, I joined Joyce, Dave, and Marla and boarded my very first airplane (pictured above) and flew to Germany to minister to military students and soldiers through concerts, retreats, and small group discipleship. Dick and Margaret generously lent us a vehicle and their house was our home base.

We saw 63 students and soldiers come to Christ that summer. The next summer of 1982 that number almost doubled as 110 souls came to Jesus! Because of this response, we formed two singing teams in 1983 and began inviting our youth ministry friends to consider moving to Germany to partner with chaplains and become full-time youth workers on a military installation. And so, in 1984, Malachi Ministries “officially” became the youth ministry branch of OCSC.

Since then, Malachi, now Cadence Student Ministry and Cadence Children’s Ministry, has impacted thousands of military students for Jesus at military installations across Europe, Asia, and in the United States.

I didn’t grow up in a military family or community, so when I landed in Germany that first summer I met my very first military person at our first concert. Now all these years later, I continue to love military people and their families with all my heart. In fact, this is the essence of Cadence. It’s who we are and what we do: we love military people and their families.

The recent challenging and tragic events in Afghanistan have reminded us of the potential peril and sacrifice our military people and their families live with in service to their country.

In all our ministries at Cadence, we are dedicated to honoring this service, loving our military well, and faithfully bringing the hope of the gospel to this community—67 years now for the mission and 40 years for Cadence Student and Children’s ministries . . . and counting.

David Schroeder