Ablaze is blazing a trail through spiritual life at NSU.
Ablaze is a non-denominational Christian group that all the Christian groups on campus will be a part of, said Krista Owens, Ablaze co-founder and senior business administration.
“It’s trying to take all the different Christian groups on campus and connect them,” Owens said. “So instead of them not knowing each other, not attending each other’s events, we are all one, because we believe in unity in the body of Christ.”
Kevin Saberre, Jr., graduate assistant for spiritual life in the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, said Ablaze is significant because it was started by student leaders who saw a need on campus.
“The unique thing about it is that it’s totally the brainchild of the students,” Saberre said. “They are the ones who have come up with the structure for it and the ideas for it and even the manpower. I see it as a new phase of the NSU campus for students looking to connect and better their faith in years to come.”
Sarah Westol, senior biology major and co-founder of Ablaze, said she believed that Christianity is about more than going to church every week. It is about fellowship among Christians.
“Fellowship with one another is something that is a love that is unconditional and unparalleled within the body of Christ,” she said. “And, right now we don’t experience that at NSU because we don’t have that at NSU. So Ablaze is offering that by saying, ‘Hey let’s do this together. Let’s truly be disciples of Christ and reach out to those in need.”
Westol and Owens said that Ablaze has 10 facets including a weekly Sunday night service, which meets at the Mailman-Hollywood Building; Steadfast, a weekly Bible study; Endure, a prayer group; Cre8, an area in which members can express their artistic talents; and Break Bread, events for the members to get to know each other.
Edford Gunter, senior humanities major, member of Christian fraternity Alpha Nu Omega and worship leader of Ablaze, said that he felt that Ablaze would allow the Christian groups on campus to work more cohesively.
“I feel that we’re going to accomplish one of our purposes of ministering to other colleges and universities and show a different side of Christianity,” he said.
Terry Morrow, director of the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, said that the exciting part about Ablaze is that it is a grassroots movement from student leaders who are passionate about meeting the needs of Christian students and the spiritual needs of the campus.
“Ablaze is really trying to create a community for students to be able to practice their faith and grow in their faith,” Morrow said. “And for those students that may not identify themselves as Christians, it provides an opportunity to reflect on meaning and purpose, to explore faith, to connect with others who are exploring faith.”