Grove City College students come from a variety of denominational backgrounds. Looking for a church for the first time away from home and family can pose interesting challenges and opportunities. Many students find it interesting to explore denominations and churches that differ from those they grew up in. Other students find comfort in finding churches similar to those they grew up in. Student Andrew McDevitt attends the Beloved Disciple Catholic Church. He grew up with the Catholic tradition, attending a Catholic high school. While he explored other denominations in the first few weeks, he felt the need to stay true to the traditionalist values he grew up with. McDevitt reflects on the Beloved Disciple in saying, “I found a strong sense of community that was lacking at some of the other Catholic churches I’ve been to.”
Sophomore Elsie Becker regularly attends Wayside Community Church. A member of the church picks her up every Sunday for service, and she is the only Grove City student that attends. The church has a very elderly population. She comments that this aspect of the church appealed to her because as a college student she does not often get the chance to interact with an elderly generation. Becker comments that she likes to see “how God worked in their lives for a very extended period of time. They are much older so they really have a unique perspective on their faith.” She reflects on hearing a story from a member that donated the money for the pews when the church was being built. He did not have the money at the time but felt called to donate. Soon after, his boss gave him a bonus check for the exact amount without knowing about his donation. Elsie thinks that these stories help her have a better understanding and perspective on God.
Like Elsie and Andrew, many Grove City students find the churches around the College as great places to strengthen their faith and get involved in the community.