Christian nightclub gives community a chance to come together
Although junior Johnny Jones is the only member of the Christian fraternity Gamma Phi Delta, that did not stop him from doing something different.
Mount Pleasant native Merissa Cummins is a member of Faith Community Church with Jones, where she heard about his idea to start a Christian nightclub at Centennial Hall in downtown Mount Pleasant.
"It is a safe environment with a positive atmosphere, and we are just celebrating people," Cummins said. "We just want to get together and laugh. We are not trying to convert people, or here to tell you what is right or wrong. This is about building relationships and getting to know who we are as people."
The Christian nightclub, Phi Light Lounge, had its debut Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., and senior Aaron McCord thought it went successfully.
The Warren native had attended his first Faith Community Church bible study earlier that day when Jones invited him to go to the Phi Light Lounge to relax, network and share testimonies.
McCord said before he found a relationship with God, he was going down a bad path in life.
"I partied a lot, drank too much, and I was heartbroken," he said. "The best thing that has happened in my life was finding Christ."
This is the exact goal that Jones said he had for the Phi Light Lounge. He said he wanted to show people the message and happiness that coming together as a community in a positive place can have.
"I'm just hoping to see growth, and I want numerous people to share visions and see what they can gain from this club to be inspired and motivated to do something in the community," Jones, the Detroit native, said.
McCord said the fraternity hasn't flourished on campus because many people shy away from religion, and it can be associated with negative stereotypes.
Jones said he wants people to know the Phi Light Lounge is not "preachy," and believers, as well as non-believers, are welcome to come out and have a good time together.
The community of Mount Pleasant gathered together and shared snacks and good conversation without a stress on religious beliefs.
"I just wanted to give a different alternative to the other options that are on campus on the weekends. Some people go to parties, but this intimate, comfortable setting is open for anyone to come and see what we are all about," Jones said.
He explained that Gamma Phi Delta is just like any other fraternity because they value brotherhood, community service and have social events.
By starting the Phi Light Lounge, he hopes to promote his name and fraternity for students to hear and to give people a chance to connect.
"I'm happy I came (to the Christian nightclub) because it gives me a chance to connect with people who are choosing to devote their lives to Christ," McCord said.