(405) 425-5070
Renew College Ministry in Russellville, Ark., celebrates the 20th anniversary of its campus house.
National
Photo provided by Grayson Taylor

Arkansas Tech campus ministry influences generations of students

Over 250 alumni and their families attend Renew College Ministry reunion.

After 43 years of sharing Jesus with students, Renew College Ministry in Russellville, Ark., is still impacting young adults at Arkansas Tech University.

Located across the street from the football stadium, Renew averaged over 40 students last year.

Anna Strother, 21, an Arkansas Tech senior from Texas, found Renew during the fall 2022 semester. She said the people there have helped her feel at home.


Related: Disciples making disciples making disciples


“I am still relatively new to the Renew family. However, I think it’s beautiful that Renew has such a long history of bringing college students together in the name of Christ,” Strother said. “Life is difficult, and we all need that love and support through life that maybe we don’t receive outside of church or campus ministry.”

Renew hosted an alumni reunion weekend June 3-4 to celebrate 20 years in its campus house, about 80 miles northwest of Little Rock. Alumni from four decades of ministry visited.

“I love knowing that there is so much history in our Renew campus house of people coming together —  countless lives that were changed because of Jesus,” Strother said.

Over 250 alumni and their families attended the event, where they ate dinner and listened to speakers.

They came “to the campus house to reminisce, tell old stories, view old pictures, see familiar faces and, ultimately, to celebrate the good that God has done through this ministry,” Renew director Grayson Taylor said.

Renew College Ministry in Russellville, Ark., celebrates the 20th anniversary of its campus house.

Renew College Ministry in Russellville, Ark., celebrates the 20th anniversary of its campus house.

To wrap up the weekend, alumni and past volunteers for Renew — formerly known as Church of Christ Student Center — led Sunday worship service at the West Side Church of Christ.

Taylor, a 2014 Arkansas Tech alumnus, met his wife, Amanda, through the Church of Christ Student Center while they were students.

“The college years are arguably the most formative years in a person’s life,” Taylor said. “We need more campus ministries. We need to reach more college-aged students. This reunion alone was evidence that the Gospel is making an impact on college students throughout every era.” 

“The college years are arguably the most formative years in a person’s life. We need more campus ministries. We need to reach more college-aged students.”

The ministry at Arkansas Tech started in 1980, former director Chris Buxton said, making this its 43rd year.

In 1998, Buxton became the director. He oversaw the construction of the new building for the Church of Christ Student Center in 2003. Buxton now works as the executive director for ULife, an Arkansas-based consulting firm that helps plant and grow campus ministries.

“Very few enter college with a fully formed worldview, and very few leave college without one,” Buxton said. “So I think for many people, the college years are when you make all of those huge decisions that set the trajectory for the rest of your life.”

Renew connects students with Christians outside their generation, Strother said. That helps them make connections that would not have existed otherwise.

“The people from past generations as well as those in my own all feel like a big family,” she explained. “I am fortunate to be a part of it.”

Filed under: Arkansas Arkansas Tech campus ministry college ministry Gen Z National News Renew College Ministry Top Stories

Don’t miss out on more stories like this.

Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.

Did you enjoy this article?

Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.

$
Personal Info

Dedicate this Donation

In Honor/Memory of Details

Card Notification Details

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $3 One Time