THE OAKS RETREAT
RAXIA BAILEY, DIRECTOR
I love the Oaks because of the unity it brings. Followers of Christ are able to come together and learn more about Jesus, worship Jesus, and go to Auburn proclaiming the name of Jesus. You meet the best of friends and truly get to see an awesome picture of the body of Christ!!
COME TO THE OAKS!!!
CAREY CLARK, DIRECTOR
I love the Oaks because freshmen can see the Gospel lived out before they even step on campus through older brothers and sisters in Christ. Every time I talk to my friends from other schools they've talked about how much they wished they had something like it at their school. The Oaks was really instrumental in helping me find a church body quicker and in showing me what Christ centered community looks like. What I’ve seen through the Oaks over the past few years would bring joy to any Christ follower. The Lord is more glorified because of the Oaks and that’s why I want to be a part of it!
CAROLINE DAVIS, COUNSELOR TRAINER
Y’all! Sign up for the Oaks Retreat! I wouldn’t be the person I am today if the Lord hadn’t lead me here freshman year. The Lord used the Oaks Retreat to help set me on a path to activley seek after Him and to seek out a community of believers that would spur me along in faith! It’s amazing what can happen when we invite the Lord into a space and give Him the glory. My freshman year, I was saved at the Oaks Retreat and then I had the privilege of coming back and getting to lead as a counselor my sophomore year! I can’t wait to see the ways that the Lord will move this year and can’t wait to see those relationships forming with one another and with our Father in Heaven! WOOHOO!!
JD STRAWN, COUNSELOR TRAINER
This will be my second year serving on leadership for the Oaks and I couldn’t be more grateful for another chance to see how mighty our God is. Every year I’ve seen Him faithfully work through the Oaks in different ways. I’ve seen my friends and myself grow in love for the Lord and I’ve seen him expand his Kingdom and reach the lost through this retreat time and time again. I am completely stOAKed to be able to serve through the Oaks again!
CONNOR CURTIS, HEAD OF PRAYER
I love the oaks because it's shown me what living a dynamic, Christ-oriented, and God-honoring life looks like in College. I got to meet older believers that really invested in me and helped me find a church. I made a ton of friends at the Oaks and some of them even ended up being my roommates later! The Oaks really helped me establish a great community in Auburn and helped equip me to grow in Christ in college.
JANE FRANCES ARMOUR, HEAD OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
The Oaks has meant so many things to me. It has meant seeing more of Christ’s love, experiencing so much of His grace, truly seeing the power of prayer, and growing in community. Every year the Lord uses the Oaks in huge ways, and it's amazing to watch the Lord work. The Oaks teaches people that following the Lord is the best decision they can make, community is a beautiful gift, and there is so much joy in being obedient to the Lord. Come to the Oaks and see how big our God is and how He is truly worth everything!
NICOLE GUAY, ASSISTANT TO PUBLIC RELATIONS
I love the Oaks because it’s a beautiful picture of the Kingdom of God. It’s been such a sweet picture of a community of believers striving after unity and holiness together. Not only did it build me up, encourage me, and surround me with believers who push me to look more like Christ, but it also created a platform for me to become a part of and stay invested in community once I got to Auburn. Honestly, my favorite way the Oaks has moved in my life was in the months after we left as I continued to see the body of Christ working together to see the Kingdom grow. It wasn’t a three day retreat (which was incredible), it was a year long, then a two year long part of my life that challenges me and fights with me to look more like Jesus. I believe that the Oaks is such a powerful opportunity for God to begin shaping your college years.
DANIEL BOBBITT, ASSISTANT TO PUBLIC RELATIONS
Like almost every high school senior, my senior year was filled with anxiety and worry over the unknown of college. I had some difficult friendships and found myself lacking community and spiritual depth. I spent this time searching for fulfillment—and I wasn’t finding it. At the beginning of the summer I received a DM from an oaks counselor inviting me to attend. Being an out of state student I knew nothing about the oaks and left him hanging for a solid two weeks. During this time the Lord really grew my desire for community, and eventually, I signed up not knowing a soul. Fast forward a year and I can clearly see how the Lord used the Oaks to show me his grace. Getting plugged into a local church pushed me in my faith and since then I’ve seen myself mature, and was actually baptized last year! I love the Oaks because the Lord is faithful and uses the retreat to impact the trajectory of freshman’s lives—including my own.
KARA BROOKS, HEAD OF LOGISTICS
I love the Oaks because it is a constant picture of the Lord’s grace, sufficiency, and goodness. I have walked into the Oaks each year wiser than the last, but still very much a broken human in need of a Savior. This past year, the Lord provided such a beautiful picture of His Kingdom— each child with different talents, strengths, hobbies, and gifts— working together to reflect the glory of God. What a joy it was to witness and take part in this!! God is so good and I can’t wait to see YOU at Oaks 2020!!!
LINDSEY FRANKLIN, ASSISTANT TO LOGISTICS
The Oaks Retreat was exactly what I didn’t know I needed as an incoming freshman. It was the first time I saw true, self-forgetful, biblical community that was living unashamed and in awe of Christ. The Oaks Retreat truly rocked my world as a freshman and shaped so so much of that year which culminated in my decision that Jesus is indeed worth my life in college and far beyond. That’s why I knew that I had to be a counselor - the Father does big big things in the lives of freshmen at the Oaks (and us older people too!!) and I don’t wanna miss it! You shouldn’t either!!!
HAIDEN JACKS, HEAD OF OPERATIONS
I love the Oaks Retreat because the Lord is moving so evidently throughout it. The Oaks Retreat has allowed me to meet what are now some of my closest friends. I love how it brings Christians who are wise and a little further ahead on the same path to meet with the incoming freshman and point them in the right direction. Through the Oaks Retreat the Lord revealed to me the only truth in life and that's that there is no eternal satisfaction in anything that this Earth has to offer, but Jesus Christ who lived a life of no sin, died on the cross for my sin, ascended in to heaven on the third day and conquered death. That is the only thing I should be living my life for.
BROOKE EZEKIEL, HEAD OF REGISTRATION
The Oaks Retreat is easily one of the best things I've ever had the privilege to be a part of. As a freshman, it was so cool for me to see older believers pursuing Christ and encouraging me to do the same. If I had to sum up my freshman year in one word, it would be refining. The Lord grew me so much and taught me so much about Himself, and I truly believe that The Oaks was the start of it all. The next year, I had the opportunity to be a counselor for the retreat. It was such an incredible experience, and I got to see so many people raised from death to life just at The Oaks! Last year, I had the privilege of serving on Leadership and the Lord really used that position to reveal more about His provision as well as the power of prayer. I could not be more excited for the opportunity to serve this ministry again as the Lord moves and as His will is done. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and letting me be a part of what He is going to accomplish at Oaks 2020!!! I’m #stOAKed!
KATHERINE PARSLOW, HEAD OF FUNDRAISING
Every year, my involvement with the Oaks Retreat has been such a sweet gift. When I came to the Oaks as a freshman, I was primarily concerned with making a name for myself and feeling known as I stepped into this new season of life. But how kind the Lord has been to humble me and change the desires of my heart! Since coming to Auburn, I’ve understood the gospel and how it changes every part of my life with a greater depth and richness than ever before. Three years later, I’m still so thankful for the community I found through the Oaks that encourages total surrender and obedience to Christ! Today, the Oaks Retreat continues to serve as a beautiful pillar- a place of remembrance and celebration for all God has done in my life.
WALKER EIFORD, HEAD OF FINANCE
The oaks has been a passion of mine since I went my freshman year! The retreat gives freshmen an opportunity to connect with other believers and churches before getting thrown into the craziness of college, which was huge for me. I met friends, I was shown the gospel, and I found the faith family I would soon do life with!!
EMMA KATE SHELTON, HEAD OF HOSPITALITY
Being from a small town and not knowing a lot of people coming to Auburn, I was intimidated and feared that I would not have as strong of a community as I did back home. The Lord used the Oaks Retreat to completely remove that fear and confirm that Auburn is where He had called me. I was absolutely blown away by just how much these people truly LOVE the Lord. The Oaks was simply a glimpse of how much the Lord would continue to use community in Auburn to open my eyes and refine me into more of His image. I love the Oaks Retreat because it has drawn me to such a deeper love of Him!
BENJAMIN STOCKS, HEAD OF MAIN SESSIONS
Although I didn't go to the Oaks as an incoming freshman, I did get to serve as the sound guy in 2019, so I got to see what a great and vital experience it is for not only getting plugged into a church body but also forming community before you've even started taking classes. It is so important that as a freshman you have a church body that you can serve, a community where you can belong, and people to spur you on personally in your walk with Christ. The Oaks is the number one way to get all of that and more, and you will be glad you were a part of it!
FULLER MUSSELWHITE, HEAD OF SUSTAINMENT
Coming into Auburn from out of state, I knew very few people entering my freshman year. However, I embraced the opportunity to meet so many great people, the Oaks Retreat serving as the focal point by immediately connecting me with others who love Christ and Auburn as much as I do. Since then, I’ve continued to grow in my faith and build so many incredible relationships. I have also enjoyed the privilege of being able to give back to the Oaks as a counselor and now as a part of Oaks Leadership. The Oaks Retreat is absolutely amazing and I can’t wait so see how God moves through it this year.