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Rolla Church Receives Grant to Launch Adventist Campus Ministry

Members of the Rolla Church erupted in celebration during a recent worship service as they learned the church’s request for a $10,000 North American Division Compassion Ministry Grant was approved. The grant, which allows the church to officially launch an Adventist Christian Fellowship chapter on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus, is just the next step in the church’s long history of ministry to college students. For many years, Missouri S&T students have been invited to church services and events, and members have welcomed them into their homes.

In 2015, John Rodhouse, then a Missouri S&T aerospace engineering student, approached the church board with a desire to host regular Friday and Saturday evening gatherings. He needed a meeting space, so church members Ray and Sandy Diaz graciously offered their home.

Engineering students, friends and family enjoy a Sabbath afternoon hike along Acorn Trail in Rolla, Missouri.

It became apparent as the students continued to gather that they held similar interests, desires and values. Friendships developed through a diversity of activities such as Bible studies, game nights, canoeing, bowling, hiking and caving. Since its fledgling start four years ago, the group has grown to include not only students from all over the U.S., but from Botswana, Iran, Ecuador and China as well.

“Getting together during weekends has changed my routine,” said one international doctoral student.

“They provided me not only food, but also companionship.”

He shared how lonely he felt before joining the group because of being away from home, and he encourages incoming students to get involved as soon as they arrive.

The objectives of the ACF chapter at Missouri S&T are to bring together people from all walks of life who are interested in better understanding Adventist core beliefs, and to facilitate outreach and service events to minister to other students on campus and the wider Rolla community.

More than 75 percent of Adventist young adults in North America complete their tertiary education outside of the Adventist school system. Because Missouri S&T has an excellent reputation in engineering, many Adventist students enroll there each year. The Rolla Church’s desire is to provide an outlet for healthy social interaction, spiritual support and a sense of community among the students.

For more information about ACF at Missouri S&T, contact Pastor Rodney Osborne at rodneyosbornejr1@ gmail.com, or John Rodhouse at 573.202.9126.

Want to know more about the Rolla Church? Visit them at 810 Highway O in Rolla, Missouri, find them on Facebook at RollaSDAChurch, or call 573.364.3782.

Donna Kleinigger is a member of the Rolla Church in Rolla, Missouri.