Journeys of faith


From left to right: Jadyn Fedrick, Kyle Johnson, Rolando Rojas. Photo by Megann Galehouse.

Michaela Write

In college, some students lose faith, strengthen faith or find faith. Here are the stories of the spiritual journeys of three Kent State students.

Losing faith

Kyle Johnson, junior sociology major, said he “lacks faith in a higher power.” He grew up attending a Baptist church and was baptized at age 14. He said his mom made him go to church every Sunday.

“I feel like I was led on and indoctrinated to believe something at a young age,” Johnson said. “I felt that religion was just thrust upon me as a little kid, and I really didn’t get the opportunity to find my one true religion.”

Johnson said his mom, his church community and society have had an influence on his belief in Christianity.

“I always kind of doubted,” he said. “When I came to Kent, then my doubts just exploded.”

He said his eyes were opened after taking Black Experience I and learning about how Christianity was used during slavery.

“Christianity was used as a weapon to destroy their culture,” he said. “I’m open to other religions. I’m more into religions that stress looking inward instead of upward like Buddhism and Confucianism.”

When asked if there is a God, he said: “I don’t know. I need proof, and I don’t have proof.”

Keeping faith

Rolando Rojas, sophomore electronic media production major, was raised as a Pentecostal Christian. Although Kent is different from his Christian high school, he continues to practice his faith.

“Being around a different environment forced me to think for myself,” Rojas said. “I was no longer in my comfort zone. I believe that my college experience has made me stronger in my faith because I have had to mature as a person mentally, physically and spiritually.”

While having a father as a pastor may have affected what he believes, Rojas said that coming to college encouraged him to reflect on his faith for himself.

“I believe that my parents were a very big influence over my life,” Rojas said. “However, I am and always have been in control of my beliefs. My beliefs did not change when I got to college.”

Finding faith

Jadyn Fedrick, freshman advertising major, considered herself an atheist before coming to Kent State.

“I definitely didn’t have faith,” Fedrick said. “My mom was making me, and I had to go to church. I didn’t get anything out of it when I was younger.”

Fedrick said she met a few people at Kent State who encouraged her to attend Campus Crusade for Christ.

“I was looking for something,” she said. “Everyone finds God in their own way, whether it’s fear of hell or needing comfort, and that’s what mine was. I needed comfort.”

The fourth or fifth time Fedrick went to Campus Crusade for Christ, she said she finally felt comfortable closing her eyes during prayer.

“I had released and let myself completely have faith just by closing my eyes,” she said. “But when you truly believe in it and truly devote yourself to it, it gets better. It just becomes a way of life.”

Fedrick said she’s happier and more content now that she is leading a Christian life.

“The difference now is that I am older,” she said. “I can comprehend it; I do know what I’m doing and I appreciate it.”

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