A faithful IMPACT on campus

By Molly Burke
Jambar Contributor

Nearly a dozen religious organizations are active at Youngstown State University, including IMPACT Campus Ministry International, a Christian club that hosts weekly Bible studies.

IMPACT is a national organization of the United Pentecostal Church International. YSU’s chapter meets at 4 p.m. every Thursday in the Bresnahan Room of Kilcawley Center.

President Ryan Cline, a senior business administration major, is the organization’s president. Cline said IMPACT allows students to be supported by a loving community.

“We want to be a group that welcomes people in and gives people an opportunity to see the love that we have one for another and to have a community-based experience here at YSU,” Cline said. 

While IMPACT practices Oneness Pentecostalism, Cline said anyone is welcome to join, regardless of faith. 

“We want to have an impact on the lives of the students here. Obviously, we open the Word, we open the Bible, that’s what we’re based off of — but not just through that — by creating a community that can exist here at YSU that gives people the chance to connect with people from all different backgrounds,” Cline said.

Every meeting, members can give a lesson to the club. Cline said anyone can give a presentation with approval from the club’s officers.

“We have whoever’s teaching that day ask for prayer requests. We go into a guided season of prayer — just a few moments. Then, we have a Bible lesson. We open it up for discussion afterward, and then we just talk about whatever is going on in our personal lives,” Cline said. 

IMPACT members studying the Bible at a meeting. Photo by Molly Burke / Jambar Contributor

IMPACT was active on campus prior to the pandemic, but membership declined until Cline reformed the club with some of its members in August 2023. Cassandra Williams, a senior communications major and the club’s secretary, was part of the group that refounded IMPACT.

For its first semester back on campus, the club hosted its YSU Campus Revival service in the Recital Hall of Bliss Hall in November 2023. Williams said the event will take place again in April.

“The revival was basically a way that we could introduce going to church to people on campus,” Williams said. “We had about 200 people that came. We had singing and preaching and fun things like that. We’re looking forward to doing that again this semester.”

The organization will host a flag football tournament in March. Williams said the event will be open to all. 

“We’re just going to have some flag football, some food, some drinks and just fellowship with people, have fun — maybe introduce them to the idea of coming to our group or the revival service,” Williams said. 

Dates for the revival and tournament have not been determined. 

Williams said her favorite part of IMPACT is practicing her faith with others at YSU. 

“My favorite part is just honestly getting to hang out with people and talk about Jesus,” Williams said. “That’s a very big part of my life is church and my relationship with Jesus Christ, and it’s cool to come to a group where everybody has the same goal as you.” 

Senior math education major Dustin Lane is a member of the club. Lane said he encourages students to join, as the club has helped him grow closer to his faith. 

“I know everything that God has done in my life and changed for me. So, I feel like I could share my story,” Lane said. “A lot of us in this group are seniors. After this semester, a lot of us aren’t going to be here. We’re trying to get the word out, spread the Gospel before we leave.”

Those who want to join IMPACT can attend any of its weekly meetings.