Profile: LoveMKY (You Don't Have to Believe to Belong)

Name: Schuyler (Pronounced Skyler) Vowell

Year and Major: Senior, Integrated Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication

Hometown: Mayfield, KY

MV: Tell me your reason and/or what drew you to Murray State University.

SV: I was playing football at Kentucky Christian University and I actually suffered brain damage after a string of concussions during my time there. At that point football was out of the picture for me, so I decided to come back home and finish up my education here at Murray State. I left Murray State again--I got saved my freshman year here at MSU--and pursued ministry in Louisville, attending Bible college, School of Urban Missions (SUM). I was there for a semester and was a youth intern at a mega church. Also during my time there I lived in the west-end of Louisville working in rehab ministry doing small groups and prayer groups with the clients there that were dealing with their own addictions. I was way out of my comfort zone being a 19-year-old kid, but it gave God an opportunity to shine because I was so unqualified and He definitely prepared my heart. 

MV: Looking back, I saw where LoveMKY launched in the fall of 2016 but it has recently resurfaced. What exactly was this campus ministry founded on?

SV: Our very first meeting was actually just a small Bible study. I started working at Burrito Shack and no one there was saved, nobody knew Jesus. A lot of my coworkers had misunderstandings about what it meant to follow Jesus and what it meant to be a Christian. So, after conversations, dialogue, and debate I decided I wanted to sit down with them (about 5 of us) and I had a small message prepared to clear up any misconceptions and explain what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus; how He is still relevant and applicable to college students. It started as a Bible study, it grew, and after a few weeks there were people getting saved and accepting relationships with Jesus. It grew so large we started renting out the Brightside room at Tap 216. The whole heart behind this is showing how Jesus loves everyone and being a shining light for Jesus on this campus.   

MV: Being a Christian in today's society obviously has its own battles, so how do you face adversity and the situations people throw at you, including that you are also a young preacher?

SV: You know, Jesus faced opposition from religion and secular powers as well. They asked Him how someone with such an intimate relationship with God could be so attracted to sinners. Honestly, that's what I strive to be. The leadership model Jesus left us with is love everybody regardless of the opposition and regardless of the naysayers because people are going to say what they want to say. But, I think for me, it's understanding and knowing that I have been called to do this and staying faithful to the call because obedience leads to opportunity and I think God has presented me with LoveMKY, which is an amazing opportunity to share the love of Jesus with this campus. 

MV: At the beginning of every service you speak the same quote, so why do you so strongly express that you don't have to believe to belong?

SV: I think because the church has become known more for what they are against than what they are for. "You don't have to believe to belong," means JUST that. I'm not saying you don't have to believe to get into heaven, but I am saying at our services you don't have to believe to feel welcome or loved because Jesus loves everybody regardless if you're a sinner or a saint, regardless if they are agnostic or an atheist or if they have been a lifelong Christian. Jesus loves you and is for you, and we love you and are for you. 

MV: Any parting words for our Racers?

SV: I guess if I can say anything to this campus, it's this: regardless of where you find yourself, whether that be in doubt or confused or lost or looking for something, understand that Jesus loves you and Jesus died for you and He wants a personal relationship with you.