By Ashley Ruden
Salt Company is a weekly gathering about celebrating Jesus as a family on Thursday nights at Cornerstone Church in Ames.
For more than 40 years, Salt Company has been a big part of the Iowa State Community. It started off as a small bible study of 12 students led by Jack Owens.
“We meet in Cornerstone Church, which is an auditorium that holds 1,793 people, which is crazy,” said Mark Vance, director of Salt Company.
Vance has been the director of The Salt Company at Iowa State since 2012.
“I love it here at Iowa State, Salt Company is a huge part of my life and for it to be one of the largest student ministries in the country is absolutely amazing,” Vance said.
Salt has smaller group meetings throughout the week for the people seeking a more personal setting for worship and discussion; these are called connection groups.
In connections groups, the students talk about what was covered in salt and apply it to their lives, as well as discuss the bible. They are held at various times throughout the week and usually take place at one’s home or in dorms around Iowa State’s campus. These groups can range from 8-12 sometimes even more.
“Connection group is a place to grow in your faith or to seek out your faith,” Jaclyn Repplinger, student leader of Salt Company said. “It is a place to be in community with others who want to love and live for Jesus.”
Aside from connection groups and Thursday night gatherings, Salt Company has three different retreats you can attend throughout the year. They also usually have some type of mission trip you can go on over the summer.
All people are welcome to Salt no matter what background they have. They’re very open and accepting.
“What I like most about Salt is that they talk a lot about not needing to be perfect and how it is okay to be broken and that Jesus loves us anyways.” Molly Fink, Salt attendee said.
To put on a gathering as big as Salt Company, it takes a lot of people to make everything flow. Salt has about 20 executive members, and many student leaders to help put on the Thursday night gatherings of about 1,200 people.
“Our student leaders are really important to us, without them we wouldn’t be able to put on our Thursday night gatherings or have many connection groups,” Vance said.
Salt Company is always eager to get new people to walk through the doors of Cornerstone Church, if you ever get the option to experience it they encourage you to step through those doors and give it a shot.
“I got involved my freshman year because my sister was involved in salt, Repplinger said. “She was a leader and always talked about how great it was so when I came to college I wanted to try it out and I loved it instantly.”