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: Normal, IL
I grew up going to church and private school when I was younger. I would’ve told you that I was saved at the age of 4. But, my life never really reflected the gospel, nor did I really think about Christianity a ton, unless I felt I “needed” God or that it would make me look like the “good” girl. Any sense of Christianity I had was wrapped up in my own selfish motives. Going to college I was around a culture I’d never been exposed to before and I quickly fell into the same pattern of life as all of my non-Christian friends did with no remorse. My sophomore year my friend Jess Smith shared the gospel with me. Her and Roxy (a woman on staff with Campus Outreach) had many follow up conversations with me and towards the end of that fall semester God saved me. The beginning stages of my Christian walk were messy, but over time God continued to grow me in my faith, relationship with Christ and obedience to him, along with my hunger to read his Word and share his gospel with my sorority sisters. My senior year I made the decision to come on staff with Campus Outreach. This decision became exciting for what I think God could do through Campus Outreach. I wanted to see him raise up godly men and women in the faith in their time in college who would then take this foundation into their future marriages and families. My hope is to see the value of discipleship grow within the family unit and subsequently within local communities and local church bodies.
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.