Students gathered in the Auburn Arena for the seventh annual Ignite worship event hosted by the Auburn chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and supported by Church of the Highlands whose pastor, Chris Hodges, delivered the main message.
“Our reason is to bring together everyone on Auburn’s campus from, you know, different churches, different organizations, and really just start a flame for Christ,” said Klaudia Birkler, junior in public relations. “Whether it be with someone who knows about God or someone that doesn’t, we just really to bring together Auburn’s campus.”
The stage was placed on one side of the stadium floor with the facing seats on the court. Those seats, as well as the facing side of the stadium, were filled with attendees.
“We are excited to come with, I mean, the rest of the believers of Auburn and just worship Jesus,” said John Stolle, sophomore in chemical engineering.
Music was provided by Ben Honeycutt who is the worship and creative arts director at Rock Bridge Community Church in northeast Georgia. Around half a dozen songs were played including “Fierce” by Jesus Culture and “How He Loves” by the David Crowder Band.
“Coach Pearl, thank you for allowing us to borrow your house tonight, and making it the worship house,” said Reverand Chette Williams. Williams is Auburn’s team chaplain and Auburn's campus director for Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Auburn’s Athletics Director Jay Jacobs gave a short word and prayer before the message.
“This building says Auburn Arena but tonight this is Jesus’s arena,” said Jacobs.
Auburn football players Daniel Carlson and Tyler Stovall gave brief testimonies about their faith to the students in attendance.
“Unfortunately, this is my last year here at Auburn University, but it’s been such a blessing,” Carlson said. “We have a race ahead of us, we all have a journey and a path that God has laid out for us, and it’s not always easy, and right now, in college, this is a very important time in that journey.”
Cheerleader Logan Blake was the final student-athlete to speak.
“A religion tells you that if you sin, you have to clean yourself up, put your pieces together before you can walk back into church,” said Blake. “ A relationship says that if you sin, God’s grace has covered that.”
Former Auburn football player Mayo Sowell, now an associate pastor at Church of the Highlands introduced Hodges.
Hodges delivered a sermon based on of Ephesians 5:14 and John 4:27-35, and the message was primarily addressed to the young adults present. He spoke on how people need to stop being distracted by the problems of everyday life and focus on being a light to the lost.
“That’s the real secret to evangelism, it’s not pointing out what’s wrong with them,” said Hodges. “It’s telling them what God did in you.”
After Honeycutt's performance, the chaplain of Auburn’s men’s basketball team, Randy Roberts, gave the last speech of the event.
“I really enjoyed it,” said Anna Grizzard, freshman in elementary education and Spanish. “Sometimes being on a university that’s really big sometimes it can be overwhelming, but coming together with fellow believers is very encouraging and inspiring.”