Orthodox Cristian Fellowship group rebuilds

Second time is the charm. Students involved with one organization on campus are attempting to “rekindle” the once active organization in order to help the community.

After its “fizzling out,” members of Orthodox Christian Fellowship are attempting to revitalize the organization, which began in the early 2000s, Jeremiah Parlock, a junior political science major and social liaison for the OCF said.

“In the early 2000s, into the teens, there was a group that was small, but was still active in the community and on Marshall’s campus,” Parlock said. “We had that going for a while, but it kind of fizzled out because there was just not enough people to carry it on, but we wanted to get it rekindled to share our fellowship and beliefs with the students across campus.

Shiloh Perry, a junior political science major who is the OCF’s president, said the organization was restarted last fall, with the help of its faculty advisor, Loukia Dixon.

“OCF was restarted at Marshall last fall because of interest expressed by several Orthodox students and the help of our faculty advisor, assistant professor Loukia Dixon, whose husband is the priest at Holy Spirit Orthodox Church,” Perry said.

The OCF is focusing on helping those in the community who are less fortunate, Parlock said.

“Right now, we want to do community-based things so that way we can do our ‘due diligence’ to our doctrine,” Parlock said. “So, we have to make sure to give time and give back to those who are less fortunate, but the other aspect is we are trying to develop our name because we do not really know how to help students if we do not know students.”

Perry said the OCF also wants to provide students with more information about the church.

“OCF offers students a unique opportunity to learn more about a Christian denomination that they may not otherwise learn about,” Perry said. “The goal of the OCF ministry is to cultivate a campus community of worship, witness, service, fellowship and education.”

Even with small numbers, Parlock said he and other members hope students see the power of Christianity through the OCF and find what is important to them.

“We want them (students) to not only see the power of Christianity and what it can mean to be a Christian, but we also want students to find themselves and find what is important in their lives,” Parlock said.

The OCF is not just about students finding themselves though, as the organization wants to help students with their spiritual life as well, Parlock said.

“So, for me, and the others in the group, we want to guide students in the right direction, and in a healthy spiritual life on campus, and give them that place outside of academics or sports or what other groups they are involved in on campus. We want to give them a place to be able to find their spiritual selves,” Parlock said.

Perry said he hopes members of the OCF can learn more about the Orthodox faith and create long-lasting friendships.

“I would hope students who are unfamiliar with the Orthodox faith would gain a greater knowledge of the faith, and I would hope students who are Orthodox will have the opportunity to learn more about their own faith and create long-lasting friendships,” Perry said.

The group meets biweekly Mondays at 7 p.m. in Smith Hall 334 to talk about projects and events and to grow in their faith, Parlock said.

Meredith O’Bara can be contacted at [email protected]