When Kathleen Ford, sophomore, majoring in Human Development and Family Studies with a Child Life Concentration, decided to come to Auburn little did she know the effect she would have on Auburn’s campus by being selected for the position as her sorority’s chaplain.
To go back a little into Kathleen’s story, she was in the seventh grade when her friend invited her to go to a summer camp called Doe River. A small Christian camp in Elizabethton, Tennessee, it runs high adventure and outdoor activities alongside service and discipleship training through offering camp for guest groups during the year and kids during the summer. Young 14-year-old Kathleen fell in love with Doe River.
After that summer, she returned every year throughout her middle school and high school years. Doe River had a huge piece of Kathleen’s heart, and eventually, when she was old enough, she returned as a staff member as a camp counselor for the past two summers. “There is just something so special about Doe River. When I went for the first time, there was a pull on my little 7th grader heart, and the pull has just gotten stronger since then,” says Kathleen.
Fast forward to 20-year-old Kathleen who is the Chaplin of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. She has held this position for the past year and has gotten to use the skills and gifts God has taught and given her. Kathleen says, “Doe River has taught me so much, and I have grown so much through being there. The really cool thing is that now I get to use everything God taught me at Doe River and use that at Auburn in my sorority.”
Kathleen has learned a lot and changed for the better through being chaplain. The position has challenged her faith by pushing her to be the best she can be in her walk with the Lord so that she can build the Kappa girls up in their faith to the best of her abilities. It has challenged her in the best ways, to make herself better, so that she holds herself to a higher standard so that other girls see a good example of Christ.
Her greatest reward of being chaplain has been the one-on-one conversations. There were so many times where girls wanted to meet one-on-one or just one girl showed up for Bible study, and those turned in to the most intentional, fruitful, and encouraging conversations. She says, “That meant more to me than having a ton of girls show up for Bible study.”
Kathleen has gotten to have a positive effect on the girls in Kappa. She has enjoyed being able to help individual girls grow because then they can go and have impacts on their friend groups and be motivated more in their own walks with the Lord. “I loved getting to pour into the chapter as a whole through weekly devotions, and I especially loved just being someone the girls could come to any time they needed someone and just being someone who stood for Christ,” says Kathleen.
“Everything that happens in life—a trial, an achievement, or a lesson–sets us up for future things in life,” says Kathleen. Little did she know back in the 7th grade the purpose God had for her through Doe River. She didn’t know what all He was sowing and continues to sow for His kingdom.