Students hold fast to faith

Published 10:55 pm Friday, April 6, 2012

Hebrews 11:1 is one Bible verse heard often as Easter celebrations take place – “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

While faith means different things to different people, some university students are certain of the importance of their relationship with God during their college years.

“College is a time of a lot of growing, a lot of learning – not just about the major you are studying, but also about yourself, people around you and the world,” said Theresa Kiernan, a 20-year-old Troy University student from New Hampshire. “It’s very important to keep your faith because it helps define the way you see truth.”

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Kiernan is Catholic and said she has found a strong support system in her church and a group of friends.

“Faith gives you an anchor as you go through everything in college,” Kiernan said.

Kiernan will be away from home this Easter and, even though she is an adult with no pressure from her parents, will attend Easter Vigil.

“It is the center of my faith and the reason I have faith,” Kiernan said. “Easter is something I would never consider not celebrating.”

Danielle Percival, 19, from Wetumpka, said she’ll be going home to spend the holiday with her family.

“It’s something that is important to me,” Percival said.

“It’s a time when our family gets together and experiences something special with each other.”

While her faith is important to her, Percival, who is Baptist, admits it can be very difficult for college students to stay constant in their relationship with God.

“It’s all about having good support, a good group of friends who can help keep you stay grounded in what you believe and what your values are,” Percival said.

Darnell Bennett is from Jacksonville, Fla. and said he’ll be spending Easter as he always does – in church worshiping God.

“I don’t have to do it,” said Bennett, 18. “It’s something I want to do for me.”

Bennett said that, for him, faith helps him walk through life without knowing all circumstances.

“It’s not just about religion,” said Bennett, who was at the Troy University Baptist Student Center Friday. “It’s about a relationship with God. It gives me peace.”

Christina Cook, a 20-year-old university student from Mobile, said that she finds solace and comfort in talking to God, which is especially important to her due to the temptation she and other students face in college.

“I pray every night,” Cook said. “Growing up, I was always taught that my faith isn’t measured by anything I can see. I have faith, in every aspect of my life, that He can create any type of miracle for me.”

Cook grew up in a Baptist church and will be attending Easter service at a local African Methodist Episcopal church. But for Cook, every Sunday service is important, not just on holidays.

“I feel in order to nurture my faith and keep it strong, I should continue to go to church and pray and read my Bible,” Cook said.