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Wesley Foundation Hosts Burgers/Blues at UM

The Wesley Foundation held their Burgers and Blues event last Wednesday night / Photo by Reverend Eddie Willis
The Wesley Foundation held their Burgers and Blues event last Wednesday night / Photo by Phillip Waller

Last Wednesday night, the Wesley Foundation house in Oxford held their Burgers and Blues event to welcome students back to campus.

The Wesley Foundation has been a place where college students can gather to meet new people and practice their faith since the 1940s. Reverend Eddie Willis of the Wesley Campus Ministry believes the Wesley Foundation is a “lighthouse” for Ole Miss students.

Willis says that the foundation is there to serve the students of the university but that anyone can come to the events.

“(The Wesley Foundation) is a student organization, and we encourage and direct students to churches when they are not with us on Thursday nights,” Willis said. “But if any adults want to find out about Methodism or other churches, we’ll put them in that direction.”

To start off the year, Willis says that the Foundation has concerts, cookouts and social events to let the students know that the foundation is there for them.

“We want to create a large presence, and if just one student can find friends and can find a deeper relationship with God through an event like that, then it’s all worth it,” Willis said.

Events at the Wesley Foundation are supported by the church community. On average, foundation functions  attract 200 people, but for Burgers and Blues, the event brought out more than 250 people.

In the past, The Wesley Foundation has sponsored and supported mission trips for students to participate in as well. Last year, the foundation took students to on a mission trip to Honduras. Rev. Willis says that the foundation is currently looking into a few options, and might decide to take a domestic trip. The foundation will wait until the students get back from Christmas break in January to vote and decide on a destination.

The Wesley Foundation has been trying to get more involved on campus, in addition to the many places they are already involved with in the community.

“We are trying to get involved in intramurals. A lot of our students are in the student government, and a lot of our members are involved in fraternities, sororities, and the band,” Willis said. “We’re very involved in the community. Our members help out at the Boys and Girls Club. And every November, our building is the site for Operation Christmas Child.”

Willis says that he believes the foundation has been successful because people invite friends and anyone else they might meet while they are on campus.

There is no question that today the world is a much more secular place than in the past, and Willis says that the foundation has been able to attract people because it provides the truth in more uncertain times.

“I think students are looking for the truth,” Willis said. “We live in an age where we’ve been told what to do through all forms of media. The truth is always the truth, and that’s what we try to provide.”

The first official Wesley worship — Faith and Football — will be held at Paris-Yates Chapel Thursday night at 7 p.m. on campus. The guest speakers will be Ole Miss offensive line coach Matt Luke and Jill Freeze, wife of Head Football coach Hugh Freeze.

–Justin Taylor, senior journalism major, Meek School of Journalism and New Media

–Email Justin Taylor at jdtaylo2@go.olemiss.edu

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