Photo courtesy Jeff Norris.

Packed House in Alabama

Greek students respond to the gospel.

Ashley Tripp

The crimson carpet was barely noticeable as there weren’t enough seats prepared for the overflowing capacity of students sitting inside the large gathering room, known as the Zone, in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Mary Katherine Lake, a junior involved with Cru at the University of Alabama, reflected on a vision God gave her one year earlier while at Greek Summit, a Cru summer project. God’s vision for Mary Katherine was for every fraternity and sorority at the University of Alabama to hear the gospel and be given a chance to respond.

Shifting her focus back to reality, Mary Katherine watched as the room filled with over 1,500 fraternity and sorority freshman for Alpha Omega, a 4-week co-ed outreach program for Greek freshmen.

Jeff Norris, campus director at Bama Cru, and the rest of the staff coordinated with Mary Katherine and a leadership team of 25 students from Bama Cru.

“I am so proud of Mary Katherine,” Norris said. “Not only was she sensitive to the Lord's leading in giving her this vision, but she was faithful to persevere and work hard to organize and plan all the needed details. She's determined, but she's also full of faith and has been unwavering in her commitment to make this happen, trusting God all the way.”

Norris said in some ways he was not surprised by the turnout of students, and other ways, thrilled.

“It's no secret that we serve a big God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine,” Norris said. “It wasn't long before the room was filled with 1,500 students… We were blown away.”

At the event, Norris spoke about the “3 Lies That Every Freshman Believe” and shared the gospel at the end of the talk. Brooke Pilot, an intern with Bama Cru, shared her testimony about walking with Jesus as a Chi Omega. Lastly, Davis Looney, a former Theta Chi at Alabama, shared his dramatic story of conversion to close the night.

Each student was given a Knowing God Personally booklet and encouraged to plug into Bama Cru.

Since then, Alpha Omega met for 4 weeks on Wednesday nights at different fraternity and sorority houses this past fall. Over 800 students met in small groups with other Greek freshmen discussing the different aspects of the gospel and what it looks like to follow Christ in college. 

The fourth and final week celebrated with a cookout at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house in which over 300 students came.

“In my walk with the Lord, community is vital and that’s something I lacked in high school,” Mary Katherine said. “I desired to open a door to create spiritual conversations within the Greek community where Jesus is rarely mentioned.”

Norris said the Greek system of Alabama has a widely known reputation for being extremely spiritually dark and intimidating. As a former fraternity member at Alabama, he said his heart bleeds for that campus.

“Because of that reputation I think a lot of people tend to write Greek students off as ‘too far gone’ or something of that nature,” Norris said. “In His grace, God has given us some unique favor in the Greek system here and we are simply trying to take continued steps of faith to be a light in the darkness, proclaiming the greatness of Jesus to a segment of the campus that isn't hearing or seeing it much.”

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