NEWBERRY — A vision that began seven years ago with four students has grown into a spiritual force on the Newberry campus.
CLAY - Christians Living Among You – was formed by Newberry College students in 2006. One of the founders, Robbie Madison, had a vision that God needed to be revealed more among the students and the Newberry community. From that small start, CLAY has evolved into a 56-member group that meets each Wednesday at 9 p.m., features a praise and worship band, provides service to the community, and has even traveled around the state to take part in church services. At its core, CLAY still holds as its main mission the need to show God to the campus.
CLAY has also reached out to the community. Two years ago, with the help of a local physician, members of CLAY began performing for residents at a local nursing home. The students visit the nursing home residents to play and sing for them, play bingo, and provide friendship and company. The students make sure to include all residents, even those who cannot leave their beds.
“The feeling you get when you walk in the nursing home is absolutely amazing,” says CLAY member Brandon J. Waller. “It almost makes you sad and happy at the same time. It is sweet to see how the patients react once they see us. You can see them smiling and laughing. Once we start singing, most of them start to sing along even if they don’t know the song.”
Another CLAY member, Deral Brown, says serving others is important to college students.
“We take what we do seriously. Although we are college students and have a lot going on, we still make time to reach out to people who need us.”
Sarah Livingston now serves as president of CLAY. Though the organization has changed very much in its brief life, Livingston has faith that the coming years will be good for the group.
“With a new generation taking control of CLAY, it will bring something new, fresh and life-changing, not only for Newberry College, but for the community.”