Tag: antioch college

Resting Well – A Letter from College Pastor Luke Whyte

First off, I want to say CONGRATULATIONS to all of the college seniors that graduated this past weekend. What an incredible accomplishment! We can’t wait to see what the Lord continues to do in and through each of your lives!

For Rachel and I, the beginning of the summer marks a transition of not only the seasons, but also a big step into the next chapter of our lives as the college pastors. We are thrilled for all that is ahead.

Students have a variety of plans this summer including internships with corporations all over the country, spending time overseas on ENGAGE THE ISLANDS and plenty of other travel and time at home with family.

No matter what the next three months hold –


  1. Fan the flame of your spirit // 1 Timothy 1:6-7 says, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Look for opportunities to continue to fan the flame of your faith this summer! This comes through enjoying time with Jesus in nature and in the word, watching YouTube worship, listening to podcasts, starting a new Bible study, etc.
  2. Tend the garden of your heart // Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” Take time to process all the Lord did over the past year. Journaling is crucial for me because if I just try to think about things I get distracted too easily. Sit down and ask the Father the simple question, “Father what did You do in my heart/life this past year?” Write down whatever the Lord speaks, and thank Him for the ways He moved.
  3. Refresh your body // “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3) At the end of the day we are not only spiritual and emotional people, but we are also physical people. This means we need to be replenished physically! Yes, this means you should probably sleep in at times, eat good food, etc. But I also want to encourage you to invite Jesus into your physical refreshment. What if you went on a walk in the woods (my personal favorite) and just thanked Him for what He’s doing in your life? Consider putting on a podcast or listening to worship music as you go on a run. I find that when I invite Jesus into my day to day physical activities, both my body and spirit are refreshed.

All in all, Rachel and I are looking forward to all that’s ahead. We bought a house on 11th and Daughtery, and we’re moving to be closer to college students. We are also going to take time do all of the above and rest well!

We love you all and are overjoyed to get to serve alongside each one of you.


The Whytes

AWAKEN 2018 Recap // Day Two

The second day of AWAKEN was amazing! We had our first morning session where Luke Whyte talked on the father heart of God before we headed out to service projects all around the city. We ended our day with multiple outreaches in parks as well as neighborhoods.


We start every morning with worship, there is nothing like coming together to praise Jesus!

Luke Whyte kicked off our first session with a powerful message on the father heart of God.

After our morning session, we headed out to various work sites across the city.

It is so fun to serve the city alongside the rest of our big teams.

Prayer brings transformation and healing, and we are not only believing for the people of the Rio Grande Valley to be healed, but also our students.

We love sharing testimonies because it stirs our faith and raises our expectancy for all God is going to do.

We believe people’s lives are getting transformed! We take opportunities to share the gospel and pray with people whenever we can.


Pray for// 
  • Good weather for the rest of the week
  • Our students to be responsive and encounter Jesus in the morning sessions
  • The people of Edinburg to have open hearts to respond to the gospel
A HUGE thank you to our amazing volunteer photographers for helping us this week: Fadi Salem, Isaac Overton, Josh Lo, Sydney Cope, Rebecca Burris and Nate Emerson.

AWAKEN 2018 Recap // Day One

AWAKEN, our College Ministry’s annual spring break mission trip, is finally here! More than 350 college students and leaders headed down to Edinburg, Texas for the week to share the love of Jesus and serve the community in the the Rio Grande Valley.

Today was the first full day and college students went to churches in the area. After lunch at the beloved Echo Hotel, they went to parks to meet and pray with people, and to put on sets that include a dance, drama, testimony and sharing the gospel


Students went to churches across the area, and had a chance to worship together, share testimonies and hear from local leaders.

Students went to parks throughout the area for their first round of outreaches.

There are always a ton of kids at the parks, and playing with them is a blast!

While at the parks, our drama team creatively portrays the gospel for everyone who gathers around.

We believe our prayers are powerful and effective! // We love having the opportunity to pray with people at the parks.

This year we have nine big teams! Each team goes to different areas of the city to share and engage with the people in the area.

Throughout the week we will post updates on all that God is doing in Edinburg so stay tuned for more blog recaps! Also, please pray for students to encounter God and be empowered to share the gospel as God prepares the hearts of individuals and families who will hear the gospel this week.

A HUGE thank you to our amazing volunteer photographers helping us this week: Fadi Salem, Issac Overton, Josh Lo, Sydney Cope, Rebecca Burris and Nate Emerson.

A New Year Letter from Carl Gulley

Happy OLD Year!

I don’t know about you, but the sound of that makes me depressed.

Why? Could three little letters really make that big of a difference?


Think about it.

For Christmas, most of us were given something NEW: clothes, gadgets, home decor,etc. And that NEW possession was nothing short of thrilling.


What if every gift you received was something you already owned? If someone gift-wrapped your old Iphone, your empty perfume bottle or your holey underwear, you would look up confused and ask, “Umm, are you serious?!”

That’s because in our subconscious, we all expect something NEW. And in light of that anticipation of the NEW, you tore into that gift.


Let’s get pessimistic for a minute. What if all we had to look forward to in 2018 was what we encountered in 2017? Sure, some great moments occurred in the past 12 months. However, all of us were also confronted with high levels of tension, pain and disappointment. So the thought of pushing COPY on the OLD year and PASTING it into the NEW year isn’t exactly thrilling for most of us.

I’ve never looked up the definition of the word “NEW” until now. Webster shows two definitions:

New- adjective:

  1. Not existing before; made, introduced or discovered recently or now for the first time.
  2. Already existing but seen, experienced or acquired recently or now for the first time.

See the difference? In definition #1, something is introduced or discovered. But in definition #2, that same thing is experienced or acquired. In other words, #1 is information and #2 is revelation.

Lamentations 3 tells us, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are NEW every morning.”

Fresh forgiveness.

Fresh possibilities.

Fresh starts.





For many of us, this verse isn’t new. We know God loves us and has mercy for us in vast sums. The question is, are we simply aware of His love and mercy (information)? Or are we truly seeing, experiencing and acquiring all He has for us (revelation)?


Tragically, some people leave that gift under the tree. They think their best has passed them by and the past is doomed to repeat itself. Or they may be tired of risking with God and just kick into a survival mentality.

But that’s not who you are as a person.

That’s not who we are as a church.


NEW vision.

NEW relationships.

NEW strength.

NEW salvations.

NEW risks.

NEW revelation.

And it’s all powered by the engine of steadfast love and NEW mercies.

How do we know?

Because He said it, “Behold, I am making all things NEW!” (Isaiah 43:19)

So my prayer for 2018 is that you would, “not dwell on the former things, for He is doing a NEW thing.” And as you embrace this NEW year, don’t be content to merely gather more information about God. But, by the Holy Spirit‘s power, may you grasp more revelation of all He is and all He wants to do.

So welcome to new mercies.

Welcome to 2018.

Happy NEW year!

Carl Gulley – College Pastor









And, to help you get ready for the year ahead – fill out this Roles and Goals for 2018 sheet.

And He Shall Be Called // Part Three

Today Carl Gulley shared part three of our series, And He Shall Be Called, with a message on Jesus’ family history. To set up the Christmas story and the arrival of Jesus, we first had to go back to the book of Ruth where we find Ruth and Naomi. Ruth was considered a cursed foreigner and Naomi called herself bitter, but it was through their family line that Jesus would eventually come through. He was the redeemer that would redeem their past and our future.

Check out some of our takeaways from today’s message:

  • We like to know where we’re from because it feels like solid ground to stand on.
  • The visitation of God is consistent throughout history.
  • You know how to say God is good, but that doesn’t mean your heart believes it.
  • Just because you know the definition of Immanuel doesn’t mean you know the God Immanuel.
  • God intended to show grace and mercy to those who couldn’t provide for themselves.
  • Redeem means to obtain at a high price.
  • God doesn’t leave you without a redeemer.
  • The outcasts, the scandalous, the foreigners and the cursed enemies of God find themselves in the family line of Jesus because if there’s a place for them, there’s a place for you.
  • The family Jesus came from anticipated the family He would come for.
  • Those who don’t know they fit into the family of God get bought by a redeemer.

By Carl Gulley – College Pastor

Making the Most of Your Christmas Break // College Edition

College students, you made it through finals and are finally rewarded with a much deserved break! Believe it or not, Christmas break is a critical time for you personally in your walk with God. The holiday season is more than a reprieve from school, finals and dorm life. It is more than a time to catch up on sleep, spend extended time with family and get a bunch of gifts.


God has done a lot in you, through you and around you this past semester, and He desires for the seeds of faith, hope, life, freedom, breakthrough and revelation to continue to bear fruit and send you into the year of 2018 with strength and power.

However, there is one who stands in direct opposition to God’s desire and design, and that enemy is the accuser himself, the Devil. Satan seeks to shift your gear from a drive and direction toward God into neutral so you reverse to old patterns, behaviors and temptations. This break, you have the choice to take ground in Jesus or to lose ground to the enemy. “Greater is He who is in you than any power that is in this world” (1 John 4:4). I am confident that this Christmas break, you will be those that do not shrink back but those that press in and take ground.


  • Lean into Jesus and community // Jesus said it best when He reminded His disciples in John 15:5, “for apart from me you can do nothing.” You and I both need consistent and powerful personal connections with Jesus to stay strong in faith, full of hope and capable to fight temptations and serve others. We cannot take ground if we are not grounded in truth every morning. Make it a priority to start each day with set aside time to dive into the Word, set your gaze on Jesus in worship and dialogue with God through prayer. Not only is it essential for us to lean into Jesus, but we also need to lean into community while we are home for the holidays. When you feel weak, isolated, discouraged or tempted, reach out to your community by text or phone calls to strengthen you through prayer and encouragement. As you have learned this semester, light exposes darkness. We will lose ground if we keep sin in the dark from people. This Christmas, be sure to lean in and take ground.
  • Be intentional to serve // “Never be lacking in zeal but keep your spiritual fervor serving the Lord (Romans 12:11)”. Taking initiative to serve your parents, siblings, neighbors, and others around you will accelerate your hunger for God and allow the revelations you have gained to take root in your heart. Don’t expect revival and restoration in your family if you are not willing to roll up your sleeves and serve your mom and dad, brother and sister. Make a list of two to three ways you could show kindness to your family by serving. Beat your mom to the dishes, do not allow your dad to have to take out the trash, volunteer to be the taxi driver to your younger siblings. Your family will listen to your words as you display your heart with your actions. This Christmas, roll up your sleeves and take some ground.
  • Tackle temptations // “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).” I am sure the sins of your past and schemes of the devil are already crouching at your door (Genesis 4:7-8). Since the beginning, the devil has sought to tempt, distract and disillusion God-lovers from the truth. Decide today that you will not give way to his schemes. Our College Pastor Carl Gulley called these temptations, CORNERS, in his sermon on the, “young man lacking sense” from Proverbs. I encourage you to daily put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6), identify your corners (apathy, ex-boyfriend, binge-TV, pornography, masturbation, slanderous speech, jealousy, etc…) and distance yourself from them. This Christmas, choose to take ground and not return to past corners.

You can do it! This is going to be a transformative Christmas break for you as you seek to lean into Jesus and others, be intentional to serve and tackle temptations. Three to four weeks at home can be daunting for some of you. However, if you try and WIN your first three days by taking these steps, I have faith you will return to school refreshed, refueled and strengthened for all that 2018 has for you! Stay LIT this Christmas:  lean into Jesus, be intentional to serve and tackle temptation. We believe in you!

By Maddie Phenix – Associate College Pastor

The Unlikely Ones: Part Six // Josiah

Today Carl Gulley wrapped up our series, The Unlikely Ones, with a message on Josiah, an unlikely one who became king at just eight years old and would later call his people back to God. Josiah read the Word of God with sensitivity and attention, and practiced the things he read. As a result, his people turned back to God. Check out some of our takeaways from today’s message and learn more about how we can respond:

  • You’re freedom is worth something, and it was all God who paid for it
  • The Word of God deserves your sensitivity and attention
  • Anything that has the potential to lure your heart back into slavery has to be dealt with ruthlessly
  • A false god is something you don’t know you are dependent on until God asks you to give it up
  • God wants to fight for our hearts to be free
  • False gods try to provide a false sense of safety and security
  • Don’t let any remnant of the past trip up your future
  • When you cultivate spiritual disciplines, it positions your heart to look toward God
  • When you fall in love with the Bible, you’ll fall more in love with God
  • The pages of the Bible were designed to point us straight to God


Take some time to ask God if there are any false gods in your life and identify any remnants of the past that are trying to trip up your future.


For the next month, we want to dive into the Bible and fall more in love with the Word of God, so we are challenging everyone to take the Josiah Challenge and spend time reading the Bible every day for the next 30 days. As you do, ask God to open your eyes to see the wondrous things in His law!

By Carl Gulley – College Pastor

The Unlikely Ones: Part Three // The Wise, The Simple and The Foolish

Today Carl Gulley continued our series, The Unlikely Ones, with a message on creating an action plan for whenever we’re tempted. We spent our morning in the book of Proverbs, looking at a young man Solomon warned of temptation. Temptation doesn’t just lead to sin over night. When we are self-aware, we can build a blockade to keep us from going down the wrong path. Check out some of our takeaways from today’s message, and find out how you can respond this week:

  • Lust is not a man issue, it’s a mankind issue.
  • What is seemingly obvious to everyone else is rarely obvious to you.
  • If you can spot the build up, you can build a blockade around the very thing that is trying to take away your freedom.
  • The model for change is self-awareness, Biblical conviction, making a plan, getting accountability and living out the plan.
  • You can’t compare yourself to a companion.
  • Your plan is going to look foolish to someone else.
  • Making a move that makes sense in heaven doesn’t make sense on earth.
  • Sin is a warrior that is throwing every weapon against you, so you have to declare war on sin.
  • Our plans for victory are going to be different, but the intensity of our fight must be the same.
  • You are invited to stand with confidence in the place of grace and mercy.

In Response:

This week take time to ask yourself, “Is there a corner I am going near now that could lead to my destruction later?” Then apply the model for change:

  • 1. Self-awareness
  • 2. Biblical conviction
  • 3.Make a plan
  • 4. Find someone to hold you accountable
  • 5. Apply the plan

Build yourself an arsenal of Scriptures that you can remind yourself of in the midst of the process. There is nothing more secure to stand on than the Word of God.

By Carl Gulley – College Pastor


The Unlikely Ones: Part Two // Deborah

Today College Pastor Carl Gulley continued our series, The Unlikely Ones, with a message on Deborah from Judges. Deborah was an unlikely leader who used her influence to speak identity over people, and to ultimately bring people into freedom. Because we are children of God, we have influence and authority. When we use our influence to serve and call people up, we shift things around us and bring God glory.

Check out some of our takeaways from today’s message:

  • God, in His kindness, will intensify the strength of the grip of your false god until you realize that it is a foe and not a friend.
  • My life has ramification on others – that is the number one rule of leadership.
  • Are you stewarding your influence for the sake of others and for the sake of the glory of God?
  • The Holy Spirit has put influence on you.
  • When you are an influencer, there is always power in your presence.
  • The mentality of an influencer should always be, “It’s for me to obey and God to deliver.”
  • You do the possible and trust God to do the impossible.
  • When you spend your influence on other people, you are doing it for God himself.
  • Inactivity is inexcusable.
  • Influencers combine their influence with pure obedience.

By Carl Gulley – College Pastor

Making Back to School a Win – College Edition

Senior-itis is a real phenomenon. It’s that feeling of walking into your first day of 12th grade still exhausted from your last day of 11th grade. All the homework, pep rallies, relational drama, prom, athletic practices, banquets, late nights, early mornings… At one level, you love it. At another level, you just want out. I went to a private school from Pre-K to 12th grade and absolutely loved it. Still every school has its pros and cons. Upside: being small, we were a close-knit family and the teachers knew each child personally and intimately. The downside? If you got stuck with a label, reputation or stereotype, it was hard to shake. You couldn’t just grab a new group of friends and rebrand yourself. Translation: graduation couldn’t come fast enough.

I later realized that deep beneath the longing for graduation day was a desire for something much more:


A place where you get to make your own choices and no one knows what you did back in 10th grade. A season where you get to choose who you want to be and who you want to live life with.

Enter college! That magical four year world filled with intramurals, meal plans, leadership organizations and classes you actually want to take. The world says you’re not quite an adult yet so you should soak up the typical college experience and live life to the fullest. But having been a college pastor for eight years, here’s what I know:

The decisions you make during college will set the course for the rest of your life.

So in order to not repeat your high school-itis, here’s a quick list of things all college students (from freshman to senior) need to hear at the beginning of the school year:

    • 1. Choose Wisely //

      It’s true: YOUR FRIENDS ARE A PREVIEW OF THE FUTURE YOU. I can tell who you are going to be someday by looking at the friends you are hanging out with right now. If you want to reach a godly destination, pick some friends who are going there with or without you.


    • 2. Ditch the Sin Experiment //

      I meet so many students who say they started college with a desire to “just have a little fun for a little while.” They’ll visit parties or hook up with some guy/girl…because it’s “just for a little while.” I recently met a few guys starting their senior year who told me: “We just realized that the world will call us adults in nine months time. How do we make up for the last three years of living for ourselves?” Don’t be those guys. But if you have been, your answer lies in #3.


  • 3. Make it Your Personal Mission to Destroy FOMO //

    In an attempt to not miss out on anything, you will be tempted to commit to nothing. The basic college route calls you to hop around to different churches and bounce in and out of anything asking you for a commitment. When Jesus came to Peter, He said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:20 says, “Immediately, they left their nets and followed Him.” My challenge to you is to get into a Lifegroup and pursue discipleship and accountability that will push you to Jesus. ASAP. This is where you will encounter God personally and where you will find a fresh start – a clean slate – waiting for you.

This is your shot and you only get four years (okay, some of you get five). In the meantime, remember what 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Or as Hillsong’s song Empires says:

Beneath our skin
A new creation
The night is done
Our chains are broken
The time as come
The wait is over
The King is here

That promise is for you. Don’t waste it.

Carl Gulley, College Pastor

Carl-Gulley headshot