Like many children that grow up in the IPHC, Devin Stover, a Christian Ministries major, knew all about Emmanuel through attending church camps and Talent Quest. However, it wasn’t the testimonials of students or even a divine encounter with God that brought him to EC.
It was the gentle push of his loving grandmother who knew Emmanuel is where he needed to be.
“It was really my Grandmother that got me here,” Devin said. “She persuaded me every chance she could get.”
Although he had heard about Emmanuel at Talent Quest and had spoken with a recruiter, Devin had his sights set on the University of North Alabama. Being born and raised in Alabama, Devin was looking forward to staying close to home. However, he kept receiving gentle reminders that he should look at Emmanuel a little more.
Devin admitted that although he didn’t want to come to Emmanuel at first, something in him knew that he should. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit and a little help from his grandmother, Devin applied to EC.
“Since I’ve been here, I’ve grown so much spiritually, mentally, and physically in different aspects of my life,” Devin said. “It’s been a huge journey of going up and down a roller coaster dealing with different life experiences.”
But what really kept Devin from longing for home were the relationships he’s been able to build here.
“I have deep relationships with others that have come and gone through Emmanuel and I still have close connections with them,” Devin said. “A lot of what Emmanuel has done for me is through the small community with the deep relationships I’ve built.”
And what better way for Devin to continue building deep relationships other than serving as a Resident Assistant for Wellons Hall.
“There’s a guy on my hall from Scotland and then there’s another guy who’s originally from Ghana—just getting to know their individual backgrounds is cool,” Devin said. “How cool it is just to be able to share a hall with so many different guys that have different backgrounds, lives, and goals for being here, but we all live under the same roof. It’s just neat and really inspiring to get to know these guys.”
But being an RA isn’t the only thing that brings him joy. Devin’s plans after graduation include going into Youth Ministry.
At the age of 15, Devin received a calling from God to go into Youth Ministry. However, as he got older, he pushed it to the back of his mind until God brought him to Emmanuel and revealed it to him once again.
“I was at a youth camp and we were in a service and it was a different service. We were all sitting on the floor with dark lights and I felt like I heard God saying Matthew 2:6,” Devin said, “The last part of that verse to me says that I would be able to be there for people and lead people to follow Christ.”
Over the next few years, Devin’s career aspirations changed multiple times. It wasn’t until he arrived at Emmanuel that God brought Youth Ministry back to the forefront of his mind.
Living for Christ and the relationships he has built at Emmanuel, Devin encourages other students that live out of state like himself, to come to Emmanuel and see what it has to offer.
“I would encourage people out of state to really try to go on a tour of campus if they can but to also not be afraid of the distance because the relationships here will fill the emptiness of not being at home,” Devin said. “Because at Emmanuel, we’re here for one another. When one person struggles, the group that turns into your family also struggles; just because you’re hurting, it doesn’t mean that your alone.”