Christ First Church is excited to partner with Campus Outreach in ministry to the students of Eastern Illinois University. Campus Outreach has been active at EIU since 2011, and began partnering with Christ First Church in the fall of 2018. Campus Outreach functions as the church's college ministry. The vision of Campus Outreach is “to glorify God by building laborers on the campus for the lost world.”
These are the full-time staff members for Campus Outreach:
Hometown: Morris, IL
I grew up going to church with my family. I started claiming to be a Christian when I was around 5 years old. But, I was never actually saved. It was just lip service and head knowledge. I just knew all the answers and could tell you what needed to be said. My life looked nothing like the Bible says a Christian’s life looks like. I was living just like the rest of the world. When I graduated high school it only intensified. I began to party all the time with my friends and this continued heavily. During my freshman year of college, I met a student in Campus Outreach named Brock Kemp. He started to invite me to Bible Studies and other Christian events. I was realizing that the life I was claiming to live looked nothing like what a real Christian’s life looks like. The Lord saved me sometime during the second semester of my freshman year. I continued to grow in my faith during my college years and came on Staff with Campus Outreach after graduation. I came on Staff because there are many people who come to college in need of Christ, like me, and I can give my life to raising up laborers for Christ.
Hometown: Geneseo, Illinois
College: Art Education at Eastern Illinois University
Phone: (309) 945-3056
From a young age, I always believed in God, but I always felt that I was pretty good on my own so I didn't fully understand why Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins. It wasn't until 4th grade that God began revealing more to me how far we have fallen from him, and how Jesus is the only way to restoring our relationship with him. So I became more eager to learn about Jesus and seek forgiveness. Throughout my senior year in high school, I was increasingly confronted with my pride and weakness, which led me to understand in a deeper way my need for a Savior. I realized that I had not been making him as much of a priority in my life as I said he was. If I was saying I was a Christian, he needed to truly be my Lord. Going into college at EIU, I was humbled as I met staff and students involved with Campus Outreach. I watched their life as they became friends with non-believers, share the gospel, studied their Bible, went to church, and sought discipleship. I realized I didn't know as much as I thought I knew and wanted to live my life the way I saw them live theirs. I caught the vision for evangelizing and making disciples among college students and went to work with Campus Outreach at Bradley University for 3 years after I graduated, which was where I met my husband, Nate.
Hometown: Metamora, IL
I grew up going to a small private christian school, but as I got older my faith meant less to me as my life started to mean less and less as I really did not understand what I believed. I held the Christian name, but I never really lived as a follower of Christ. My freshman year of college I met a guy who worked for Campus Outreach named Steve Lawrence. He helped me understand what I was claiming to believe. Throughout my years in college, it was a bumpy road but I really saw the Gospel change my heart. I could see a drastic difference between the beginning of college to the end of it. My freshman year, I could see my life was so much about me. I played college basketball at Bradley and realized that I was chasing my status, recognition, belonging, and happiness through being good at basketball. Basketball gave me everything I wanted in college. When I finally found my identity and recognition in Christ as God’s child, I started to see my purpose in life change. I am now finding purpose of life in Christ as I have developed a heart for the lost and wanting to see young men and women in colleges come to know Jesus as I have.