By Sharena Lathen
The root of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (ICF) started as a movement in 1877 by British students at Cambridge University, even though some university officials were against this movement. Nevertheless, christian students got together to pray, study the bible, and share their faith with other students. Similar groups had started to form on other campuses as well. The students at Cambridge University came up with the name “inter” which means between and “varsity” (which is a British term) that means college level students.
Howard Guinness, a medical graduate student, was sent overseas to Canada in 1928, by the British InterVarsity so the gospel could be shared which is one of their concerns. Guinness had led many Canadian students to Christ and from there Canadians started hearing requests from students here in the United States in 1937.
ICF also builds community, lasting relationships, provides support, advice, and most importantly love for and amongst one another. Members know how to have fun and party, mostly by incorporating food in just about every activity and event.
ICF isn’t just for those who follow Jesus but is also for those who are lost and searching for something, although they don’t know what that is yet. ICF welcomes those who already have a religion, but it just doesn’t seem to work for them anymore or they want something else. The organization also welcomes those who are curious about what members believe in and have heard about Christians and may have questions such as: are they all the same and how they really portray Jesus and Christians as a whole.
ICF welcomes everyone to try Jesus out for themself. It is not enough to watch someone else live for Jesus, but for others to experience. This walk is not easy and it is not a piece of cake, but you will have support.
Recently, members went to Mark Camp at Camp Luz in Orrville, Ohio and during this trip members studied the book of Mark, sang songs unto the Lord our God, played so many fun games, and ate a lot. The first event of the Fall 2023 semester had a huge turnout and many people stopped by to see what and who ICF is.
ICF has changed and impacted the lives of its members by being a place where they are able to live a life outside of home and school. It also gives some members friends, a sense of belonging, excitement, joy of being around and meeting new people, traveling, and a safe-space with trust and dependency on others..
The welcome, the love and the tone of the group is amazing. ICF hopes that others will get a chance to experience the things it offers by visiting, sitting, sharing, growing with members, and mostly giving Jesus a try. What are you waiting for?
Flyers are posted around campus and members can often be seen in the food court having Bible study. Members are sometimes approached for information but the president and Kathy Renfro, the faculty advisor at the Metro campus can also be contacted for information on events outside of Tri-C.