Taking seriously the mandate to love your neighbor (Mark 12:30), McHenry UMC realized their neighbors were very close at Garrett College. Pastor Jonathan Acord began a relationship with a college student who lived in off-campus housing near the church. The student began worshipping with the congregation and introduced his roommates. Soon the church was regularly ministering to a small group of students. Over the past two years, more students have connected with the congregation and built deep relationships with Pastor Jonathan.
Garrett College will be building a walking path that passes McHenry UMC. Seizing this opportunity, McHenry UMC is expanding their outdoor pavilion area to include a basketball court, fire pit, and an outdoor movie area. The hope is for the outdoor site to be the catalyst for connecting with students in the future. The church will be easily accessible by the walking path, and the church is excited about sharing the gospel with students. “There isn’t much to do at Garrett College for students,” explained Pastor Jonathan, “we’re hoping to meet a need, offer a place for community and fun, and build relationships so that we can connect students to Christ.”
The Higher Education Team is proud to partner with the Hoyes-McHenry charge so that college students can encounter Christ and have the opportunity to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.
The Higher Education Team has grant money available for local churches to minister to college students. If your church would like to request funding to support ministry with college students, please contact Mark Stotler, Higher Education Chair, email@example.com.
Shea James is the Director of Young Disciples and Outdoor Ministries.