Chapter Eight: Summer I in the Midwest

Thursday, May 1st through Wednesday, June 11th

Plenty of randomness in this Chapter: I left North Carolina, headed to Chicago, and now plan to roam the Midwest for awhile. (Read about the biggest zig-zagging here.)

As you may remember, I’ve been to Chicago and Minneapolis before. So, for more on Chicago-area college ministry, see the Itineraries for Chapter 1 (New Student Orientations around Chicago) and Chapter 2. And if you want to see the earlier weekend I spent in the Twin Cities, that’s on the TRECC Itinerary.

Finally, to see the Blog posts from this chapter, Chapter Eight, click here.


  • Collegiate Ministry visits: 21
  • Church weekend services: 25
  • Interviews / other ministry discussions: 40
  • Other explorations: 3
  • Conferences, etc.: 1
  • Total explorations: 91
  • Total campuses: 24

States: North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia (when heading to the Midwest); Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan (#38), Ontario (not a state), Wisconsin, Iowa (#39), Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas (#40)

Major Areas: Chicago area, Michigan, Ohio, Twin Cities… and of lots of other great visits!

Campuses Visited

  • #108: Marshall University, Huntington, WV
  • #109: Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
  • #110: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
  • #111: Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
  • #112: Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, MI
  • #113: Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  • #114: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • #115: Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI
  • #116: University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario
  • #117: Assumption University, Windsor, Ontario
  • #118: University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • #119: Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
  • Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL (first visited in Chapter 1)
  • College of DuPage, Wheaton, IL (first visited in Chapter 2)
  • #120: The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  • #121: Columbus State Community College, Columbus, Ohio
  • #122: Capital University, Bexley, Ohio
  • #123: University of Illinois, Urbana / Champaign, IL
  • #124: University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • #125: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • Bethel University, St. Paul, MN (first visited during the TRECC)
  • #126: Hamline University, St. Paul, MN
  • #127: Concordia University, St. Paul, MN
  • #128: University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
  • #129: Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
  • #130: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • #131: Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, IN

Collegiate Ministry Visits

  • “Cru” large group meeting, Campus Crusade at Marshall University, Thurs. 5-1, Senior & Summer Missions send-off
  • “Axis Experience” monthly large group of Axis (20-somethings) Ministry of Willow Creek Community Church, Fri. 5-2, Lead Navigator Jon Peacock speaking
  • College Sunday school, First Baptist Church, Hammond, Sun. 5-4, Stuart Mason speaking (brief visit)
  • Daily Chapel, Calvin College, Mon. 5-5, graduating senior Samantha Ehlert speaking
  • Epic (18-23) ministry of NorthRidge Church, Thurs. 5-8, director Scott Cunningham speaking
  • “Café 20” weekly fellowship gathering of the Axis (20-something) Ministry of Willow Creek Community Church, Sun. 5-11
  • Finals Study Day at Blackhawk Church, Mon. 5-12
  • “The Gathering” of MERGE college ministry of Granger Community Church, Mon. 5-12, college minister and worship leader Jason Miller leading
  • Crave college ministry of Christ Community Church, St. Charles, IL, held at DeKalb campus, Tues. 5-13
  • Weekly Prayer Meeting of Ohio State college ministers, held at Jacob’s Porch, Thurs. 5-15
  • Viewing itinerant campus preaching of George E. Smock (“Brother Jed”) at Ohio State, Thurs. 5-15
  • “Alive” college ministry of Linworth Road Church, Worthington, OH, Fri. 5-16, College Pastor Tom Short teaching
  • “Free Hot Dogs” service project with Student Christian Fellowship, Ohio State, Fri. 5-16
  • Joshua House 20-somethings ministry of Vineyard Church of Columbus, OH, 6pm Sun. 5-18, incoming Pastor of Joshua House Jonathan Rue preaching
  • Central Teaching of the Campus Bible Study of Xenos Christian Fellowship, Columbus, OH, Mon. 5-19, Ruth Welsh teaching
  • Viewing itinerant campus preaching of Tom Short (twice) at Columbus State Community College and Ohio State
  • “LifeLectures” study of Buckeyes for Christ, Ohio State, Tues. 5-20, Jon Wells, Director of Youth and Family Development, Focus Press, speaking
  • Vespers service of Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Ohio State, held at St. Gregory of Nyssa Orthodox Church, Wed. 5-21, Father Joseph DiStefano presiding
  • Bible study, Crosswalk ministry, Ohio State, Thurs. 5-22, President Chris Hall teaching
  • Dinner with Crosswalk ministry, Thurs. 5-22
  • Campuswide Prayer, organized by LoveOSU 24/7 Prayer House, Thurs. 5-22

Church Visits

26 weekend worship services, all over the region!

Interviews & Other “Exploring” Activities

  • Dinner & ministry chat, Shay Osborne, Director, Baptist Student Union, Marshall University
  • Ministry discussion with Neighborhood Small Group Director (with collegiate oversight) Nick Plassman, Community Christian Church, Naperville, IL
  • Interview, Jon Peacock, Lead Navigator, Axis (20-somethings) Ministry, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL
  • Tour and discussions about Cornerstone University with Associate Professor of Science Ned Keller
  • Interview, Andy De Jong, Interim Chaplain, Calvin College
  • Interview, Christine Mutch, Director of Discipleship and Worship, Cornerstone University
  • Interview, David Murdoch, Director of Student Leadership Development and Service Learning, Cornerstone University
  • Interview, Scott Cunningham, director of Epic (18-23) Ministry, NorthRidge Church
  • Much ministry discussion with Matt Metzger, Pastor of College Ministries, and others involved in the College Ministries, Blackhawk Church
  • Interview, Jason Miller, college minister and worship leader of Granger Community Church
  • Tour of The Ohio State University, given by Coalition for Christian Outreach Area Director Michael Mattes
  • Discussion of Coalition for Christian Outreach ministry with Area Director Michael Mattes and Columbus CCO staff member Beth Mattes
  • Discussion of 24/7 Prayer House, Ohio State, with staff members
  • Interview, Matt McNeece, Venue Worship Leader and director of Young Adults ministry, Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, Tipp City, OH
  • Interview, Dennis McCallum, Lead Pastor and Founding Pastor, Xenos Christian Fellowship
  • Interview, John & Angie Scroggins, Founders of WAMHouse, Columbus, OH
  • Phone interview, Terry Habegger, Caring Pastor (including Young Adults ministry oversight), Grove City Church of the Nazarene
  • Interview, Tom Short, Board Member, Great Commission Churches; College Ministry director, Linworth Road Church, Columbus, OH; itinerant campus preacher
  • Collegiate Ministry discussion, Rick Schimizze, Elder, Fishinger and Kenny Church of Christ
  • Interview, Jeff Darby, Campus Minister, Buckeyes for Christ (ministry of Fishinger and Kenny Church of Christ)
  • Interview, Alan Budd, Director of Ministries, Mosaic Church, Columbus, OH
  • Ministry discussion (during a fellowship dinner) with members of Orthodox Christian Fellowship and Father Daniel Rentel and Father Joseph DiStefano, OCF Spiritual Advisors
  • Interview and ministry discussion, Seth Aldridge, director, Student Christian Fellowship, Columbus, OH
  • Interview, Jonathan Rue, incoming Pastor of Joshua House 20-somethings ministry of Vineyard Church of Columbus
  • Ministry discussion, Caleb Epperson, Director, Crosswalk, Ohio State
  • Brief ministry discussion, Phil Riegler, Director of College Ministries, Lane Ave. Baptist Church, Columbus
  • Interview, Josh Rodriguez, Campus Pastor, Catalyst 2:4 Nazarene ministry, Ohio State
  • Interview, Doug Russell, Student Mission Leader, St. Paul’s Outreach, Ohio State
  • Interview, Chris Hall, President, Crosswalk, Ohio State
  • Interview, John Mueller, Young Adults Associate (overseeing College Ministry), Wooddale Church, Eden Prairie, MN
  • Extended ministry discussions, Nick Stromwall and Charlie Brooks, staff members, Campus Outreach Minneapolis
  • Staff Meeting (including discussing my Road Trip and seeing a presentation of Campus Outreach’s summer plans), Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN
  • Time spent with additional participants in Campus Outreach Minneapolis, including staying in the ministry’s “Essex House” by the University of Minnesota
  • Interview, Tanden Brekke, Associate Director of Spiritual Formation, Bethel University
  • Interview, Sam Schoenfelder, Mission Director and Household Coordinator, St. Paul’s Outreach, St. Paul, MN
  • Interview, Brad Friedlein, Adult Connections Pastor (including oversight of the 20-something ministry), Church of the Open Door, Maple Grove, MN
  • Interview, Brian Fischer, Mission Coordinator, St. Paul’s Outreach
  • Ministry discussion, Evan Hunter, Director, Ivy Jungle Collegiate Network
  • Ministry discussion and reconnect, Allen Wakabayashi, Associate Area Director for Northwestern University, InterVarsity; Director of College Ministry, First Presbyterian Church, Evanston, IL
  • Ministry discussion and reconnect, Eric Naus, Pastor to College Students, Moody Church, Chicago, IL
  • Ministry discussion and reconnect, Kelly Skiles, Director of Student Life and Leadership, Judson University, Elgin, IL
  • Write-to-Publish Writers’ Conference, Wheaton, IL
  • Ministry discussion, David Setran, Associate Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry (including teaching college ministry and young adult ministry courses), Wheaton College

Special Event: Southern Baptist Convention Pastor’s Conference and Annual Meeting, June 9 – 11

At the very end of this Chapter, I attended a day of the Pastor’s Conference and both days of the SBC Annual Meeting. As I wrote, it was a little surreal for a youngster like me. But it also provided some great ministry connections. Below are the specific main “explorations” (especially in the area of Collegiate Ministry) I was able to have during the convention, as best I can delineate (and remember).

  • Attending the Missional Network dinner with panel discussion by Kerry Shook, Senior Pastor, Fellowship of The Woodlands, The Woodlands, TX; Brian Bloye, Lead Pastor, West Ridge Church, Hiram, GA; Daniel Floyd, Lead Pastor, Lifepoint Church, Spotsylvania, VA; Shawn Lovejoy, Lead Pastor, Mountain Lake Church, Cumming, GA
  • Attending a Pastor’s Conference message on reaching the Millennial Generation by Jay Strack, CEO and President, Student Leadership University
  • Ministry discussion, Dennis Darville, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Nathan Knight, Director of Student Development, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Ministry reconnect and discussion, Mark Coppenger, Pastor, Evanston Baptist Church, Evanston, IL, and Professor of Christian Apologetics, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Ministry discussion, David Francis, Director of Sunday School, LifeWay Christian Resources
  • Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary lunch banquet, including discussions with several GGBTS employees and constituents
  • Ministry reconnect and discussion, Howard Everett, Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist University Fellowship, Linda Vista, CA
  • Ministry discussion, Dave Proffitt, Pastor, and George & Jenny Reid, Staff, Aletheia Church, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Much time and ministry discussion, Lance Crowell, Church Ministries Associate, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (with responsibilities in Collegiate, Single Adults, Young Married, Men, and Family Ministries).
  • Attendance in many general sessions of the Annual Meeting
  • I also had several other connections, reconnections, and ministry discussions with many people throughout the convention days, as well as general explorations of ministries with a presence at the convention. Very cool.


D. C. and the Southeast for Summer II (mid-June to mid-July)! Hot stuff!