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Student-led ministry establishes community and encourages students

Over the summer, senior Joey Martindale and alumni Annalee Armour felt the need for more community among students. They began Upper Room: a Bible study for students to come together and share encouragement for the week ahead. Upper Room originally took place at J.J. Biello Park in Woodstock before recently moving to the FBCW Warehouse. Students meet every Sunday at 6 p.m. for worship and a short devotional.

“Our biggest hope for Upper Room was to create community and provide an outlet for students who want to serve in ministry,” said Martindale.” I want students who attend to know that they’re not alone in their walk with Christ.

Students who attend the Upper Room on a regular basis know that it is a safe place where they can escape from the world and talk with peers of like-minded faith. Many students have expressed an interest in leading worship or speaking at the Upper Room. Students are able to share their personal testimonies or a topic that has been on their heart recently. Sophomore Maddy Hoerl has been attending Upper Room since July and appreciates the community found in the ministry.

“I love hearing our students speak and hearing their personal testimonies,” said Hoerl.” It’s a huge benefit to hear my peers speak about their walk with the Lord because it encourages me and lets me know that I can go to any of them for a prayer or wisdom and know they will give me Godly advice.”

Since the ministry began, leaders wanted to find a way to involve students who couldn’t attend or don’t prefer public speaking. The solution: creating a blog so students can still share their message with others. According to Martindale, it has been a huge success and provides the opportunity for students to share what the Lord has been placing on their hearts.

One of the main themes expressed in Upper Room is the idea of community. Students are encouraging other students in their walk with God and worshipping together.

“It’s honestly turned into a huge family of people who just want to serve God, and it’s been so cool to see that taking place,” said Martindale.

Students enjoy the opportunity to come together at the beginning of the week with each other and have an hour of worship. The student-led ministry has grown greatly since its inception, and now over 50 students attend each week. Upper Room continues to grow and help students in their walk with Christ.

“I love attending Upper Room because it is one of the only Bible studies I go to that is completely student-led and students serving students...” said Hoerl.


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