SALLY KICKLIGHTER, DIRECTOR
I love the oaks retreat! I love it because there are such a variety of people there, and we’re all chasing after the same thing- growing and glorifying the Kingdom of God. I love it because freshmen get the opportunity to dance, play games and have a great time while getting to build Christ-like friendships. Freshman year can be so unknown and scary, and this is a great way to start off this new season of life! The Oaks Retreat is fun and Gospel-centered, and that’s why I love it!
SPENCER SMITH, DIRECTOR
"The Lord used the Oaks Retreat to not only show His character to me, but it showed me how to live a life in college to glorify Him. The retreat also put me in contact with a community that continues to grow my faith in Christ and push me closer to Him. These things have proved to be monumental in my time at Auburn"
KATIE CLARK, COUNSELOR TRAINER
"I have seen the Lord so evidently through being a part of the Oaks Retreat. As a freshmen, I saw Him through being surrounded by the body of believers and their love for Christ and for one another. As a counselor, I saw Him in the ways in which He stirred in freshmen’s hearts and comforted anxious souls. As a counselor trainer, I saw Him in the unity of the staff and the shared mission of welcoming, loving, and serving freshmen with the hope that they would see Christ and glorify His name. I am honored to get to serve through the Oaks again and further see the goodness and glory of the Lord. And for that I rejoice."
JAMES COURSON, COUNSELOR TRAINER
"Being a part of The Oaks Retreat is a clear way that I get to be a part of the Kingdom of God in Auburn. The freshmen that come to this retreat are in a unique phase of life that we get to meet them in and present a Gospel that changes everything."
ELEANOR JO HARWELL, COUNSELOR TRAINER
"Attending the Oaks Retreat my freshman year showed me that living for the Lord in college was not only possible, it was desirable. The Lord used the Oaks to show me the Gospel in a fresh and beautiful way, and ultimately deepened my desire to pursue a life dedicated to serving and honoring the Lord! It was very beneficial for me to see through students serving the Oaks that the pursuit of the Lord is life giving and the only fulfilling path to follow."
TULLIS NELSON, COUNSELOR TRAINER
MATTHEW JOHNSON, HEAD OF PRAYER
JOELLE BENJAMIN, HEAD OF MARKETING STRATEGY
"When I got to Auburn, I immediately noticed that everyone who had interacted with The Oaks had an admirable passion for spreading the story of Jesus on Auburn's campus, as well as the surrounding area. This retreat has spurred me on in my own walk with the Lord, but more than that I have seen it spark a revival in the community of believers around me, and there is nothing I want more than to be a part of it. Getting to have a hand in what the Lord is doing through The Oaks is a joy, but also I have found that it is one of my most constant reminders of my purpose here as a college student. I just want everyone to hear the good news - and come and experience what is going on at The Oaks!"
OLIVIA BURNS, HEAD OF MEDIA
"I have been able to see the ripple effect and powerful impact the Oaks Retreat has made in the life of students in Auburn, Alabama. The Oaks mission to equip students to find Christ-like community before starting their college experience, and prepare them to go out and be the Church, is something that I am honored to be apart of and witness. The Oaks has allowed me to use my God given talents to glorify Him, while also loving on incoming freshmen. I am excited to see how the Lord will move this summer!"
RACHEL NAY, HEAD OF COMMUNICATION
"I went to the Oaks Retreat as an incoming Freshman desiring to follow Christ in college but I had no idea what that looked for me. I had been holding on to fear and doubt about my walk with Christ in the coming years. Not only did the Oaks show me that following Jesus was possible in college but that it could be a joy! I realized that my relationship with God wasn’t just another thing I wanted to do in college, but should be the foundation upon which I build everything else on."
EMORY ALEXANDER, HEAD OF FUNDRAISING
"The Oaks Retreat has been such a clear picture to me of the Lord’s faithfulness, and my relationship with Jesus would not be the same without it! Through attending the Oaks my freshman year and being on staff, I have seen the Lord work through this retreat in too many powerful and miraculous ways to count. I love the Oaks because it is dedicated to seeing lives change through the Gospel; advancing the Kingdom on Auburn, Southern Union, and Tuskegee’s campuses; creating community; and it is the most fun!!!"
ROSS STANFORD, HEAD OF OPERATIONS
ASHLEY BELL, HEAD OF SUPPORT STAFF
“The Lord has used the Oaks Retreat to teach me more of His heart- His plan for redemption for me through His son Jesus, His humility that I see in the counselors and staff, and the pure joy and freedom knowing Him provides, in the lives of incoming freshmen and everyone involved. The Oaks has provided me with community at Auburn across various churches, and continues to challenge me to give everything for the sake of His name being known, which is the most important thing I am to do in college."
"I love the Oaks because it models the unity that God calls us to have as believers, and offers freshmen the amazing opportunity to be introduced to the Christian community in Auburn and learn how to walk with Christ in college. Serving on staff has blessed me to see relationships form and also play a small part in welcoming freshmen to Auburn."
MATTHEW SCHOR, HEAD OF SUSTAINMENT
"Coming to the oaks freshman year I was really surprised by the amount of impact it had on me and it got me very excited about coming to auburn. I met a ton of people and one of the guys I roomed with has ended up being one of my best friends at auburn. I knew that I wanted to be involved with the oaks so I applied and was a counselor my sophomore year and served on support staff my junior year. When I served on support staff I got to see more of the behind the scenes things and just how much leadership depended on the Lord and it blew me away with how He provided each and every time. I felt a strong call at the end of the retreat to be on leadership and had several people encourage me to apply."
MARY INGALLS DWYER, HEAD OF HOSPITALITY
"Attending the Oaks Retreat as an incoming freshman changed the course of my college experience and allowed me to encounter the Lord in a way I never had before. The Lord utilized the Oaks to show me more of His goodness and love, setting me on a course to seek Him daily coming into college."
BLAIR WALTMAN, ASSITANT TO HOSPITALITY
"By going to the Oaks Retreat as a freshman I was able to get a special look into what the Christian community in Auburn looked like. I love the Oaks because it is an amazing time for freshmen to get to know other freshmen, be introduced to the ministries in Auburn, and meet upperclassmen who have been in their shoes. The Oaks has taught me so much as an incoming freshman and counselor but most importantly it has reminded and shown me that the Lord works in a truly amazing way!!"
CLAIR BREEDLOVE, HEAD OF REGISTRATION
"The Lord has used the Oaks Retreat to show me what it looks like to live for Christ in college and in life beyond these four years. I was connected with a local church in Auburn through the Oaks and have seen the Lord use my church body and believing friends to encourage me to grow closer to Him and share the good news of the gospel to a world with desperate need for Him."
ANNA POOLE, ASSISTANT TO REGISTRATION
"The Oaks Retreat is a glimpse of heaven. As an incoming freshman, the Oaks was the first taste of real Christian community. It opened my eyes to the present joy of abiding in Christ and reminded me of the hope I have because of His sacrifice."
KATIE ALLDREDGE, HEAD OF LOGISTICS
"The Oaks Retreat was incredibly impactful in changing the way I lived my life in college. The Lord used the retreat and my counselor to show me that true freedom is found in Christ and not the fleeting things of this world. I learned that following Jesus is worth it."