Testimonies

Testimonies from CSU Alumni who are on full time staff at Grace Christian Church

Graham Arends – Class of 2009 – Applied Computing Technology

“My first two years at CSU, I pursued a lifestyle of drinking and drugs. I became depressed and even got arrested for street racing while under the influence of alcohol. Afterward, I met an evangelist from Grace Christian Church on campus and we became close friends. This changed my life forever because it led me to become a Christian. My desire to party and do drugs was gone and my depression faded. When I graduated from CSU in 2009, I went on staff with the church to help reach college students with the hope I had found in Christ.”

Nevin Ashley – Class of 2005 – General Mathematics

“I am Nevin Ashley and CSU graduate of 2005. The more I partied at CSU the emptier I felt. Upon being invited to Grace Christian Church my sophomore year, I surrendered my life to Christ. An internal desire and ability grew to do what was right and a joy that I could not hold inside began. I had to tell everyone about what had happened to me. The death of Samantha Spady saddened me, and that the main solution presented by CSU was awareness of the signs of alcohol poisoning. I knew a better solution, so I became a minister.”

Victoria Ashley – Class of 2005 – Business Marketing

“I am Victoria Ashley, a 2005 CSU graduate. I left my three sisters, and Texas to come to CSU. I worked and attended school full-time. The pressures of school, finances, and my past led me to seriously consider suicide. What I did not know at the time was that people I had met from GCC were specifically praying for me the night I was going to kill myself. That night with an evangelist from GCC, I gave my life to Christ and was forever changed. Upon graduation I had no other desire than to reach out to others like me.”

Scott Bednarik – Class of 2011 – Civil Engineering

“When I came to CSU in August of 2007, I had a plan already figured out for my life; however, I was lacking a sense of purpose for what life was really about. Earlier in life this lack of purpose led to a lot of depression and insecurity, which led to thoughts of suicide. To everyone I just put up a façade of pride and made it look like everything was just fine in my life, and I filled my life with a worldly relationship and other things to fill the void in my heart. I met an evangelist with Grace Christian Church in October of 2007, and I heard the Gospel for the first time. I made a decision to repent and give my life to God in that same month, and since I made that decision, my life has changed for the better. I graduated from CSU in 2011, and I joined the staff of Grace Christian Church in 2012 to teach students about God.”

Maggie Bednarik – Class of 2012 – Health and Exercise Science

“I am thankful for the positive impact the ministry of Grace Christian Church has had on my life. Beginning college I was only interested in partying; after meeting a minister on campus my freshman year, I learned about God through a Bible study and made a decision to live according to the Word of God. Due to this decision, my life has since changed for the better and after graduating in 2012, I decided to join the staff of Grace Christian Church to teach other students who also have a desire to know God.”

Michael Browning – Class of 2007 – Business Finance

“When I enrolled at CSU, my life was a complete wreck. I searched for fulfillment in academics, athletics, clubs, community service projects, etc. Despite being busy, I still felt empty and was without a purpose or direction. I began to drink excessively, and eventually, turned to drugs to numb the pain. It started with marijuana use, but quickly lead to heavier drugs. By the time I was a sophomore at CSU, I was overwhelmed in my addiction to crack cocaine. I felt completely hopeless. As a result of the work of Grace Christian Church on the CSU campus, my life has been forever changed! Not only am I free of all addictions, but more importantly, I’m free from the emptiness that caused me to turn to those substances in the first place. I am so thankful that the church reached out and helped me at such a vulnerable time in my life! Now, I hope that I can be used in a similar way to bring hope and direction into other student’s lives at CSU.”

Ashley Browning – Class of 2007 – Political Science/Foreign Language, Literature, and Culture (German)/Liberal Arts

“The ministry of Grace Christian Church has had an important impact on my life. I graduated from CSU with three degrees in 2007. After graduating, I received a GTA position with the University. Despite success, I was depressed, battled an eating disorder and thought of suicide every day. As a grad student I was invited to Grace Christian Church, heard the Gospel of Christ and my life completely changed. I realized that many other students had similar struggles and that I could help them. So, I went into full-time campus ministry to have a positive impact in student’s lives.”

Ian Campbell- Class of 2009 – Liberal Arts (History)

“I knew while attending CSU I was going to need a lot of help to get through my college years unscathed. My brother’s life had been changed through the ministry of Grace Christian Church his freshman year at CSU. The change in his life was so dramatic that I decided to meet with an evangelist. As a result my life was also changed. In May 2009 I graduated from CSU with a degree in Liberal Arts. I heard the Lord to go into full time ministry, met my wife, and am now proudly impacting CSU with the Gospel of Jesus.”

Erica Campbell – Class of 2009 – Business Marketing

“I am a 2009 College of Business Colorado State graduate. My life was profoundly changed through the outreach of Grace Christian Church. The knowledge that Grace Christian Church was located in Fort Collins was the very reason I selected CSU, and it is because of this ministry that I have found incredible joy. I am now employed full-time by Grace Christian Church and work to give students the same opportunities I was afforded. I am confident that my work on the campus is not only valuable but will have eternal effects on students’ lives.”

Doug Collins – Class of 2013 – Health and Exercise Science

“My name is Doug Collins and before I was involved with Grace I lived a life of heavy drinking and looked for fulfillment from the things of the world. I met a campus evangelist in the fall of 2011 and through weekly Bible studies I made the decision to surrender my life to the Lord. Since that day I am a completely different person and my identity lies in the Lord. Because of the grace the Lord has shown me, I want to do nothing else than to tell the students of CSU about what the Lord has done for them. Through prayer, I heard the Lord to become a full-time staff member and to share the Gospel with the students of CSU.”

Katelyn Elkins – Class of 2010 – English Literature

“When I came to CSU, I was completely lost. I met an evangelist with Grace Christian Church my freshman year, and it changed me forever. I can honestly say that I have never had a more meaningful conversation than the one we had on campus. I became a Christian through this ministry, and it made my college experience the best one possible. I graduated in 2010, and am now a full-time evangelist with this church. I am so thankful that someone was bold enough to share the Gospel with me at CSU, and am honored to continue that work.”

Jaimie Gursky – Class of 2012 – Nutritional Sciences

“When I came to CSU in 2008, I felt I had everything in life I needed. I called myself a Christian but lived a double-life of partying, drinking, and pursuing worldly relationships. After meeting a group of girls who lived their lives solely to please God, I realized Jesus’ affection for me and surrendered all to Him in March 2009. I struggled to leave my former lifestyle behind until I attended Grace Christian Church and started doing weekly Bible studies with a campus evangelist. I looked forward to the one-on-one Bible studies every week and really looked up to the evangelist that taught them. By the time I graduated, I deeply desired to tell others about the Gospel and went on staff as an evangelist in December 2013.”

Fitsum Hailu – Class of 2010 – Biomedical Sciences

“I was stopped by a Grace Christian Church evangelist my fall semester of sophomore year. One week prior, I had been praying that God would send somebody my way to take me to church with them. I started to do Bible studies every week with the evangelist and my relationship with God really grew in the coming months. At the end of my senior year, I prayed about what to do with my future and the Lord spoke to me to be a full-time campus evangelist with Grace Christian Church. I graduated from CSU in May 2010.”

Brett Hendrick – Class of 2005 – Business Accounting

“I graduated from CSU in 2005. Before meeting an evangelist for the church I was a member of the Pike Fraternity. I drank and did drugs often, my life was heading nowhere but possibly jail. After multiple times encountering CSU and FC police, I got arrested. Then I met an evangelist from the church. He taught me the Bible and it impacted my life in a wonderful way. This church help put my life on a success track. I want to help men who are stuck in what I was and tell them what the Lord did for me.”

Britni Hunzinger – Class of 2008 – Graphic Design

“I transferred to CSU in 2005 depressed and scared of the unknown. I was desperate for a change and found one when I met a minister with Grace Christian Church. She began to teach me what the Bible said about God’s goodness and His desire to have a relationship with me. I finally believed that I had a purpose and as my understanding of God’s love increased the fear decreased. I developed a security that I had never known. After graduating in 2008, there was an urgency to share that same hope with others!”

Philip Karlberg – Class of 2012 – Mechanical Engineering

“When I came to CSU as a freshman, I was already a Christian. However, my faith was shaken when I came to college and I had no Christian friends or fellowship my first year. It was not until I met a Grace Christian Church evangelist that I found fellowship to strengthen my faith and build meaningful relationships with others. When I graduated in 2012, I considered how much Grace Christian Church helped me through college and I wanted to help others the same way.”

Ashley Karlberg – Class of 2012 – Mathematics Education

“I grew up going to church and always thought that I had God figured out. When I got to college I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and always wondered if I would amount to anything. It wasn’t until I started meeting in Bible studies that I learned that God loved me and had good plans in store for me. I had always tried to be a good person and wanted to do something worthwhile with my life but didn’t know what that would be. My life was changed by this ministry and I thank God everyday that I was approached by a staff member on campus. I have a new joy and excitement for my future that I had never had before and the impact that this church has had on me motivated me to go into full-time ministry after college. I feel compelled to share what I’ve learned about God and the Bible with students who are searching for the truth, just like I was.”

Steve Keller – Class of 2011 – Construction Management

“My name is Steve Keller and I graduated from CSU in the fall of 2011 from the Construction Management department. Having recently become a Christian towards the end of my college career I was in desperate need of a safe place to spend my free time. I was soon connected with Grace Christian Church. The community that the church provides for college students is extremely valuable. After I graduated, I went on staff with Grace, hoping to help provide that same safe community environment that I discovered there.”

Jenna Keller – Class of 2010 – Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

“My first semester in college, I struggled with severe depression. The only reason I never seriously considered suicide was that I knew I would go to hell if I did. I transferred to CSU, and the first week of classes I met someone from GCC through a survey. Through the campus ministry I learned that life can be enjoyed, not just endured. One day as I sat praying with a minister, the depression that had loomed over me for years was literally gone in an instant. Although I graduated in May 2010, my heart remains on the campus, with compassion for students like me, who don’t know how they’ll face the next day, let alone the next week.”

Amy Knapp – Equine Science – Class of 2015

“Growing up, I knew the truth of the Gospel and what Jesus did for me. When I was seventeen, I prayed to repent and give the Lord everything, and He changed me dramatically. I came up to CSU two years later and met an evangelist with Grace Christian Church, and we began a weekly Bible study. Her discipleship taught me so much more about the Lord, helping my faith grow deeper and stronger. God gave me a desire to minister to the students in the same way, and now I am thankful to be a campus evangelist at CSU.”

Joey Lanza – Class of 2005 – Health and Exercise Science

“As a CSU student, my life was greatly impacted by the ministry of Grace Christian Church. As a freshman I was full of confusion, and had no real hope in life. I met a minister on campus and he began to reach out to me. In the months that followed I made a decision to give my life to God and begin a relationship with Him. This life change led me to decide to go into full-time ministry with Grace Christian Church when I graduated in May of 2005 to help others come to know God as well.”

Katharine Lanza – Class of 2006 – Human Development and Family Studies

“As a CSU student, the ministry of Grace Christian Church affected my life in the best possible way. I was a Christian upon entering CSU—but was lonely and looking for the true meaning of what my life was created for. I found answers to those needs through this ministry, and ultimately the Lord. Through being a part of this ministry, I found purpose, passion, and a home. As I graduated in May of 2006, I wanted nothing more than to bring other people into this same deeply satisfying relationship with Jesus through entering the full-time ministry.”

Andrew Lord – Agricultural Business – Class of 2015

“Upon coming to CSU, I had no desire to seek the Lord and rather pursued a lifestyle of regularly using alcohol and illegal substances to have a good time. An evangelist from Grace Christian Church stopped me on campus and preached the Gospel to me. In our Bible study, my eyes started to open to how my sin was affecting my life and ultimately, how it was affecting God. I surrendered my life to the Lord and a desire to serve the church grew in my heart. I felt a strong call to pursue full-time ministry on the campus to share with others what God would do in their lives.”

Vinny Marone – Class of 2009 – Communications

“When I came to CSU, I was immediately pulled in the direction of the ‘college lifestyle’ and detrimental behavior that my peers participated in. On a sidewalk by Corbett, a campus evangelist with Grace Christian Church asked me to take a survey. While talking, he invited me to church and a Bible study. As I learned the Bible, I witnessed the power of God change my life in amazing ways. Because of this ministry’s impact on my life I felt called to help students when I graduated in 2009, just as my friend had helped me years before.”

JT Metcalf – Class of 2009 – Business Administration / Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism

“As a freshman at CSU, I was lost and hurting. In the midst of my first semester, I met an evangelist from Grace Christian Church on campus, who helped me tremendously throughout my time as a student. The friends I met through church are my best friends, and my greatest CSU memories revolve around time spent with Grace Christian Church. After graduating in December of 2009, I chose to go into full-time ministry with Grace in order to help students in the same way that minister helped me.”

Stacy Metcalf – Class of 2010 – Human Development and Family Studies

“I came to CSU to run away from my past. I had bottled up painful emotions and became the person I thought my family and friends wanted me to be, so I wanted a fresh start. Eventually it all caught up with me. I met a campus evangelist with Grace Christian Church my first week of class. She shared the Gospel with me and over time I realized that God was the only one who could truly give me a fresh start. When I became a Christian, my life was transformed and my heart was healed. I’m thankful for all the help that the church has given me and know that I wouldn’t be where I am now without it. I graduated in May of 2010 and went on staff with Grace Christian Church in May of 2012.”

Hailey Metzer – Class of 2013 – Zoology

“When I came to CSU as a freshman, I had recently become a Christian and knew I wanted to find a church where I could grow in my faith and meet new friends. During my first week, I met a campus evangelist from Grace Christian Church. The church not only helped me grow in my relationship with the Lord, but also provided a community and support for me. I was also able to help with evangelism at CSU and other campuses during spring break trips. Through these experiences, I was able to hear the Lord call me into full-time ministry.”

Stacey Miller – Class of 2006 – Business Accounting

“My friends in class invited me to church my junior year. I came and met a minister who taught me the Bible. Before I studied the Bible I thought I could party, cheat and have bad relationships and still be a Christian because I was a moral college student. Through meeting, I realized my deception and gave my life to Jesus. I was so thankful someone told me the Truth. After, I looked around my sorority and saw many others in the same boat. I graduated one year later and went into full time ministry so I could reach girls like me.”

Whitney Pieropan – Class of 2012 – Social Work

“When I came to CSU as a freshman I was convinced that I was a Christian. I would preach watered down forms of the Gospel to my friends, but my life mirrored a completely different reality. I was depressed and bitter from circumstances in my life and was more lost than I could have realized. Before long I met an evangelist from Grace and started attending church with her on Sundays. As I spent time with her and the church, I saw how different their lives were and understood that they had something that I didn’t. They genuinely loved the Lord and obeyed Him with everything they had and I wanted a life like theirs. I repented and gave my life to the Lord, and shortly after graduating felt called to minister to the young women on the campus and share the truth of God’s word with them.”

Andrew Preciado – Class of 2009 – Communications

“When I came to Colorado State University in 2005 I was involved in a lot of activities that were detrimental to my life and future. I was consistently binge drinking, getting into fights, and smoking weed. At the beginning of the semester, I met a campus evangelist from Grace Christian Church when I took a survey on campus. After our first Bible study I rededicated my life to God which enabled me to truly change my behavior. The campus evangelist began teaching me the Bible and how to be a man of character and integrity. The positive impact this ministry had on my life was why I chose to go into campus ministry when I graduated from CSU in 2009.”

Meri Preciado – Class of 2011 – Human Development and Family Studies

“I came to CSU in 2007 looking for friends that would help me stay on the right path. I came to Grace Christian Church with a friend who had met a GCC evangelist on campus. There I met many other students my age who were doing well in school and enjoyed participating in legal activities. I also began meeting in Bible studies with a GCC evangelist and she helped guide me on the right path through college. I graduated in 2011 and went on staff with the church because I want to help girls like me that come to CSU.”

Evan Renger – Class of 2004 – Economics

“I began attending CSU in 1999 and graduated in 2004. As a student my life was greatly changed for the better when I met an evangelist with Grace Christian Church on campus. I had long been searching for answers to life. I was also involved in excess drinking and drug use, which often put me in dangerous positions. Learning the truth of the Bible turned me away from those destructive things and provided answers that brought tremendous peace and security into my life. I now have a desire to share what I’ve learned with others.”

Julie Renger – Class of 2008 – Interior Design

“When I was a student at CSU in 2005 I met an evangelist from Grace Christian Church on campus and my life changed significantly. I drank and partied and never finished what I started. I’d attend college for a while then quit. I focused on parties instead of my classes when I was in school. I started meeting in a Bible study and I stopped partying and became a dedicated student because of principles I learned in these meetings. I graduated from CSU in 2008. My desire is to help others in the same way I was helped.”

Jared Robertson – Class of 2008 – Wildlife Biology

“My name is Jared Robertson. I graduated from the School of Natural Resources at Colorado State University in the spring of 2008 with a degree in Wildlife Biology. The campus ministry of Grace Christian Church holds a very special place in my heart. It helped change me from a depressed and scared kid during my junior year of college into a happy and functioning member of society. The more involved I got, the better my life became. The campus ministry played such a monumental role in my life that I decided to go on staff full-time with them after graduation.”

Heather Robertson – Class of 2010 – Apparel and Merchandising

“My freshman year of college, I developed an eating disorder in an attempt to fit in. I met a campus evangelist from Grace Christian Church. I was drawn to her because I could trust her. Grace Christian Church provided me the help I needed to correct my eating disorder. The friends I made at Grace are still my closest friends to this day. After I graduated in 2010, I went on staff with Grace Christian Church because I felt the Lord had called me to meet with students who were struggling like I was my freshman year.”

Mike Seely – Class of 2013 – Business Finance

“When I came to CSU I quickly got involved in drinking and partying. With a few close encounters of getting into trouble, I started to see how my life was headed in the wrong direction. As a freshman on campus I met an evangelist from Grace Christian Church. We starting meeting for Bible studies and I realized my life wasn’t right with God. After surrendering my life to the Lord everything changed. I found life in my relationship with God and in the church. The Lord then put a desire on my heart to reach other students on the campus and do full-time ministry.”

Matt Spurlock – Class of 2010 – Liberal Arts (History) at Front Range Community College

“I was a Christian when I moved to Fort Collins and immediately started to look for a church to attend. I deeply desired to be apart of a church family that could help me mature as a Christian. My friends who were attending Grace Christian Church invited me one Sunday and it quickly became apparent that this is where the Lord was calling me. I began to do one-on-one Bible studies with an evangelist on staff and would also attend other Bible studies with him where he was preaching the Gospel. Seeing the salvation of other young men and how the Lord used the ministry of GCC to change my life, I desired to reach out to the campus in the same way and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in full time ministry.”

Meredith Spurlock – Class of 2010 – Music (Psychology)

“Before graduating from CSU in 2010, campus was my home for three years. As a freshman, I met a minster with Grace Christian Church, who taught me about the Bible. After six years, she continues to be a wonderful influence in my life. Through what I have learned and the help that I have received from this ministry, I have decided to serve in a capacity that will help other students who have this same desire to learn about God. I hesitate to think where I would be without the wisdom I have gleaned from this ministry.”

Justin Trang – Class of 2008 – Landscape Architecture

“My name is Justin Trang, and I met a campus evangelist from Grace Christian Church at CSU in the fall of 2005. Before I met him I was not concerned with school. I was partying hard, drinking heavily, and my grades were poor. Through Grace Christian Church I became a Christian and my life changed completely. I stopped living a destructive lifestyle, and my grades rose considerably through my final 2 years of college. After I graduated in August of 2008 I went into full-time ministry, where I could help other students change as well.”

Rosey Trang – Class of 2008 – Criminology and Criminal Justice

“My name is Rosey Trang, Spring 2008 CSU graduate. Throughout freshmen year I led a life of drunkenness, falling grades, and insecurity that caused poor relationship choices. I met a campus evangelist with Grace Christian Church in the fall of 2004 and became a Christian through studying the Bible with her. My life changed instantly. Through learning the Bible I became a more diligent student, a faithful employee with multiple jobs, a tutor for younger students, and secure of myself in Christ. I desired greatly to share what happened with other students, and joined the Grace Christian Church staff in May 2008.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!
Isaiah 6:8