A day in the life of Jonah Parker

Guitarist wants to make God proud


The chances are the music coming from the second floor of Pierce Hall is being produced by him, for Him. On any given day, finance sophomore Jonah Parker tries to live his life in such a way to make God proud.

“I have no problem saying that I work hard for Him [God],” Parker said. “That’s really the only way I’m able to tell myself that I’m living my life right.”

With a passion for guitar, Parker plays weekly for both The Bridge college ministry and First Baptist Church Wichita Falls. He said he spends time studying the Bible, as well as time studying his textbooks, all while trying to maintain a good public image. Every day is busy for Parker, but Tuesdays in particular are quite hectic.

“I get up and head to my 8 a.m. class which is microeconomics. I usually try to make time to have breakfast first. After that I head to my accounting course,” Parker said. “Next, I have time to eat lunch and then I have a lab at 1 p.m. for geology.”

Breakfast, to Parker, is the most important meal of the day. He said he sits down with his friend Cody Park, engineering junior, to kick start the day.

“It’s just a simple breakfast, but I always enjoy talking with Jonah and seeing his positive attitude throughout my week,” Park said. “We try to do it every Tuesday and Thursday.”

Once Parker is done with classes, he said he has just enough time to reread the music scheduled for the evening’s worship, freshen up, and head to the venue to rehearse.

“The Bridge starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 9:15 p.m.,” Parker said. “I get there a couple of hours early to practice. It is one of the highlights of my week for sure. Sometimes, I will go out to eat with some of the band members afterwards, but typically I’ll be so exhausted I just want to head home and sleep.”

Sleep, Parker said, is one thing he hasn’t had much of recently.

“I’ve pulled two all-nighters in the library in the past week studying for my accounting exam,” Parker said. “I’ve probably had a combined 10 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours.”

For students who feel overwhelmed in their classes as midterms approach, Parker said rest time is important.

“Give yourself some down time. If you don’t, you’ll go nuts,” Parker said. “Studying is very important, but if you do it too much you’re going to take the fun out of college life.”

For Parker, music is one of the greater escapes from the stress and reality of college life. Having grown up a musical child, Parker performed in his high school band, but was ready to concentrate on smaller group and solo music as he grew older.

“Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love my guitar,” Parker said. “One of my favorite pastimes is to kick back and play some tunes and really zone out for a while and just get into the music.”

Parker said his family has had a major influence in his musical taste.

“Obviously, growing up in a Christian household, I really like that kind of music. But my parents also made sure to introduce me to various genres,” Parker said. “That’s why whenever you hear my playlist, it will jump from 1970s rock to country, and from rap to Christian music.”

Parker said he has no problem with dedicating time to his studying when it comes time to. To avoid the need to cram last minute in the first place, Parker created a new study schedule.

“I choose certain days to hardcore study and then have rest days, kind of like a workout,” Parker said. “I do homework on Wednesdays and Saturdays typically. Knocking everything out at once gives me more time for my other activities during the week.”

According to Parker, school itself is a learning curve.

“It took me a while to figure that this was the best for me,” Parker said. “My freshman year was rough trying to balance everything, but now I’ve figured it out and I’m a lot less stressed.”

Parker said it can be hard to balance everything, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed when this kind of stress level is new.

“As a freshman, I was all over the place and was struggling to have time for God, as well as time for myself. I knew something had to change my sophomore year,” Parker said. “Now, by having faith and getting more organized, I am able to have time to study, work out, and dedicate quality time to God and music.”

Park said Parker’s new, positive outlook on life has had a profound effect him too.

“Every time I see Jonah, he greets me with a positive attitude and a smile,” Park said. “I love his enthusiasm and I admire how he goes out of his way to help others. His love for God and the way he worships is also something I admire, and I have definitely seen some changes in how I live my life, even small things like holding the door open for people, that can be traced back to trying to replicate how Jonah goes about each day.”

Tanner Conley, economics senior, said he met Parker in 2017, and made sure to quickly befriend him as they had similar interests.

“I led a Bible study where Jonah, a freshman then, was able to come and we were able to study the word, share experiences with some other guys, and grow tight as a group,” Conley said. “Jonah is a very genuine man, showing that his true identity is in Christ. He’s easy to get to know and he is an incredible musician.”

Park too, is envious of the guitarist’s capabilities.

“I wish I had his selflessness, and his amazing guitar skills,” Park said. “Maybe he’ll teach me someday.”

Jonah’s Day