Churches, religious organizations in Ames with college ministries

Joy Wessels

As students adapt to their new surroundings at Iowa State, they usually do things such as joining a club, fraternity or finding a job to feel more at home. Another experience that some students like to pursue is religion. Here’s a brief rundown of services available in Ames:

If you’re looking for a church close to campus that was founded on the basis of ministering to college students, you might like Collegiate Presbyterian Church on Sheldon, west of Beyer Hall.

CPC offers various activities throughout the week, including a contemporary service at 11:15 a.m. Sundays, followed by a free lunch then dinner at 6 p.m. It also offers a bible study Monday nights and volunteer opportunities later during the week.

CPC’s campus minister Jesse Larson said the church offers many different ways for students to get involved.

“At Collegiate Presbyterian Church we emphasize maintaining a place of spiritual growth, fellowship and outreach,” Larson said.

Stonebrook Church offers a branch focusing on college students called The Rock. The Rock focuses heavily on music and worship. Students meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Zeke’s, located on west Lincoln Way.

Besides its worship service, The Rock also focuses on living out Christian lives together by joining a team, which is a small group of students that meet once a week to pray, study, serve and hang out. Located on Eisenhower Avenue, Stonebrook Church started out as a small, campus Bible fellowship in 1972 and has grown into a multi-generational congregation.

The Salt Company, which is a branch of Cornerstone Church located on Highway 30 east, is a worship service open to all college students in the Ames area. The Salt Company focuses on its core values which are the three Cs: celebrate, connect and contribute. Great emphasis is put on worshiping God and connecting with other students in a “connection group” to gain a deeper knowledge of the Bible.

Also, The Salt Company strongly supports as well as supplies opportunities for global missionary work. Cody Cline, the associate director of The Salt Company, said TSC offers something for everyone.

“With 800 students worshiping together once a week you get a large feel for celebration, “Cline said. “But students can also find intimacy with our connection groups.”

St. Thomas Aquinas is a parish located right across from the Memorial Union on Lincoln Way. The parish offers many activities to college students such as its weekend and daily noon Masses. 

STA also has a library open to students from 8 a.m. to midnight each day. Students can also help with service projects, join a small group, and go on retreats.

The River is a group that is based off of the First Evangelical Free Church. The group meets Thursday nights to worship, teach and hang out. It also has small groups that students can join if they want to connect and learn more about their faith. The River meets at The Plex on George Washington Carver Road.

Adam Reineke, student leader of The River and senior in software engineering says the group is designed for students to come together.

“We all like to hang out and worship together in one place,” Reineke said.

Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) is a club created by ISU students with the emphasis of seeing every student have a friend that is following Jesus. The group meets Thursday nights, typically in Physics Hall for a brief message given by students themselves which is followed by social time afterward.

The president of CRU and senior in computer engineering Michael Patterson said the group has no church affiliation and is considered non-denominational, but there is a staff member on campus that is from the national organization of Campus Crusade for Christ.

“Most of the time we hear messages from our staff member, but we also like to mix it up by hearing from some of the upperclassmen involved with CRU,” Patterson said.