Students gather on campus for Salt Company kickoff


Richard Martinez/Iowa State Daily

Doug Mills, senior in agriculture studies, kneels in a moment of silence during The Salt Company’s kickoff event on the south Campanile lawn Aug. 28.

Matthew Rezab

Hundreds of students gathered on Central Campus for The Salt Company kickoff Aug. 28. The Salt Company band entertained the crowd before and after director Mark Vance’s sermon.

The Salt Company is the college ministry of Cornerstone Church.

There was not an official attendance count, but organizers had a large number in mind.

“We’re praying for 2,000 people,” said Warren. “Hopefully we’ll get there.”

The kickoff event invited members from all over the Ames area to network with one another and new members in their neighborhoods.

“This event is really about letting people know about Salt,” Vance said. “We just want to bring people to Jesus.”

The Iowa State Atheist and Agnostic Society gathered just outside the concert area during the event, offering event attendees and passers-by the opportunity to “bless an atheist” by throwing a water balloon at society officers for a donation of $1 to the organization.

“We want to raise money for the club,” said Alexandra Mielke, president of the society. “We also want to let Christians know they are welcome in our organization. We want to have a healthy discussion.”

Participants from both groups had positive attitudes about the other being there.

“Everyone has been nice,” Mielke said. “They have no problem with us being here and we enjoy speaking with them.”

Event staffer Eric Warren thinks the concert and sermon are a good opportunity to recruit people new to Ames.

“It’s a great way to start the year,” Warren said. “It’s a great way to bring in freshmen.”

More than 1,000 ISU students regularly attend The Salt Company’s Thursday night gatherings.