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Alumni Spotlight: Aaron Parrales

About Aaron

Graduation Year: 2016
Major: Music Education
Current Position: Worship Pastor
City and State: Sioux City, Iowa

Aaron began as a band director and music teacher in Conway, Missouri, confirming his love for music and teaching. Now, he’s the Worship Pastor at Restoration Church in Sioux City, Iowa, overseeing music and tech, and leading a bilingual service. His favorite memories from Evangel include music tours and meeting his wife, Tori. He values passion and a teachable spirit in new graduates and advises patience and openness to God’s guidance.

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

After graduating from Evangel, I was a band director and music teacher in Conway, Missouri for
4 years. This job only further confirmed my calling and love for music and teaching. As a brass
player, I have taken advantage of every opportunity I’ve had to play. Ensembles I’ve been
blessed to be a part of are: Central Assembly’s Orchestra, The Missouri Philharmonic,
Springfield Little Theater, and the Northwestern Iowa Symphony Orchestra.
While I was teaching, I was also involved in the music department at Central Assembly. I did not
realize at the time that serving in their music department was preparing me for a future season. I
currently serve as the Worship Pastor at Restoration Church in Sioux City, Iowa. I oversee all
things music and tech. I started here in the summer of 2021. Sioux City has a very large Hispanic
population. This year we started a fully bilingual service. Growing up in a bilingual church, I
have been blessed to help guide our staff and church to coordinate this service. I also have a
piano studio of five students.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

My favorite experiences were definitely all of the tours I was a part of with the Concert
Orchestra and the Jazz Orchestra. I was blessed to be part of multiple tours out of the country
including Canada, Vietnam, and Europe. My closest friends were on those trips and we had
wonderful times together. These trips also allowed me to further develop my calling as a
musician and worship leader. Another favorite memory was meeting my wife, Tori my
sophomore year.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

Evangel offers so many different areas of study. You can immerse yourself in what you are most
passionate about. Evangel’s music department had multiple ensembles that helped shape my
musicianship. Because of this, I was given many opportunities to perform and lead. Each time
was, I felt, a confirmation from the Lord that I was pursuing exactly what I was supposed to

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

Our professors did a great job constantly reminding us that no matter what our area of study was,
we were to be witnesses to those who were closest to us. If we were teachers, the classroom was
our pulpit. Evangel also gave me many leadership opportunities that further developed my
teaching and people skills. In ministry, you need to have good people skills! Evangel prepared
me for that really well.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

My advice would be to be patient. As each notable Biblical character has taught us, everyone’s
story is unique. Your first job may not be your dream job. I would also remind soon to be
graduates that the Lord has a way of changing our assignment after college. We may have a plan
of how we think our professional lives will go, but the Lord has final say. If He reassigns you,
that’s ok! Just trust Him and His timing.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

Are they passionate about what they want to do? Are they teachable? Lots of places are very
strict with their desire to hire only people with experience. I’d be willing to hire someone with a
fresh perspective only if they have a teachable spirit. After all, if I wasn’t given a chance, I
wouldn’t be where I am today!