Food, Fellowship, and Faith: College Students Reconnect with Conference Leaders while Studying at Southern Adventist University

Published on September 8, 2023

Having a visit from a familiar face can have a big impact on college students who find themselves away from home, whether it’s their first or final year. Theology student Isaiah Lawson found this to be true during Commitment Weekend at Southern Adventist University (SAU) on September 8-9, 2023, when Pastor Marcelo Mansur made a visit to Gulf States Conference students studying at SAU.

Lawson commented, “I am thankful for the visit and the free stuff that Pastor Marcelo gave us.” During his time on campus, he spent time with the students talking about college life, listening to their experiences and sharing Biblical wisdom and prayer.

A big part of the weekend was food and fellowship. This happened as the students received free meals, including free pizza from their Conference young adult leaders, and the chance to hang out with fellow students from their Conferences.

Lawson continued by saying, “As a college student taking a full load of classes, I found it rejuvenating being able to reconnect with old friends from my Conference that I wouldn’t see on a normal day.”

In addition to meeting with their local Conference young adult ministry leaders, the focus of the weekend was on encouraging students to join small groups and make a commitment to be part of campus ministries.

These invitations came through the various programs that were organized by Campus Ministries. Friday night worship, which had over 1000 people in attendance, was followed by introducing Conference young adult (YA) leaders from the Southern Union to the students, along with an evening snack. On Sabbath afternoon, students met with YA directors from their respective Conferences.

A second campus visit to Southern Adventist University is scheduled for the 2024 spring semester. If you are interested in Pastor Marcelo visiting your college campus, you can contact him at or call 1-334-272-7493. He would love to connect with you wherever you are.