Iowa State University’s (ISU) student organization Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) increased membership by over 85% since the chapter first reopened in 2019.

ACF is an organization which provides young adults, both students of ISU and local community members, the ability to fellowship through meals, Bible study, icebreakers and recreational activities.

The group meets twice a month at the Ames Church. Group members are invited to enjoy a meal provided by church members. For many group members this is their favorite part of the meeting.

“My favorite part is coming and bonding with people and just talking around a good plate of food,” said Amber Melendez, ISU student and member of ACF. “It really brings us together and brings that sense of fellowship into this small group.”

After the meal, members head upstairs to do icebreakers, discuss organization duties and upcoming events and to study the Bible.

“ACF is all about building relationships with people and just getting to know them,” said Esther Kim, an ACF member and ISU student.

ACF President and ISU senior Jedi Chukwusom reopened the organization’s chapter in 2019 with the help of Ames church member and ISU staff Mona Berkley, now ACF’s sponsor. Chukwusom wanted to reopen the chapter, which was previously closed for eight years, because he wanted to connect with people of similar beliefs.

“I struggled with a sense of loneliness,” Chukwusom said. “I wished there was somebody that felt the same about subjects that I could connect with.”

Berkley said she understands Chukwusom’s loneliness from her own experience as a student at ISU. After moving from California to attend ISU, Berkley said she didn’t know anyone on campus. Berkley said if ACF was organization when she was a student, she would’ve joined.

ISU student and ACF member Andrew Plar said when he sees ACF members around ISU’s campus it’s refreshing.

“My favorite part of ACF is feeling connected,” Plar said. “It makes the big feeling [of campus] feel a little smaller.”

Berkley hopes more ISU students learn about ACF and join the organization so they too can feel connected and have a place to worship with other people their age.