Auburn Christian Fellowship located just behind the Auburn Alumni Center is a small campus ministry that has been a rock for me throughout my years here in Auburn. I first came to ACF as a freshman in 2015 along with my roommate at the time who was also a hometown friend. We came for a free dinner event, then a worship service, and before long it just became a part of our college routine. Attending we met most of our current Auburn friends and made all kinds of memories because of this place from whittling on the front porch to Nerf wars in the worship center. ACF is split into two main buildings: the worship center or Big Room and the Community Room. The Big room serves as the dining room for free dinner nights and the worship hall for Bible study. The Community Room is actually divided into 3 parts: a boys dorm, community room, and a girls dorm. The dorms are attached but have no connecting doors to each other or the community room. The community room serves as a common area for not only ACF residents, but everyone. The room is about the size of a large living room with couches centered around a TV and coffee table. The community room is full of a variety of games and activities for students who just need a break, but it also has separate rooms that serve as staff offices and study rooms.
From the outside ACF has a very professional appeal with both buildings having matching brick walls with white accents and shingle roofs. The aesthetic of ACF from the inside of the buildings and even the front parking lot is a completely different experience. From the front parking lot there is a clear view of a large wrap around porch that encompasses the community room and is filled with rocking chairs and small tables. Often students sit on the porch and use it as a study space between classes, but with COVID, they’ve become a spot where people socialize. ACF has adapted to the COVID crisis quite well, the outside of all buildings have signs mandating the use of a mask on the premises and they require all visitors receive a temperature check and scan in using a QR code.
Outside of the people and signs that dot the landscape ACF is a beautiful building in a slightly less than beautiful area. ACF is surrounded on it’s four sides by an older apartment complex, a cemetery, some small sorority houses, and the Alumni Center’s parking lot. The building itself is a bit of an odd-ball as it’s all red brick, white trim and shingles, whereas the buildings on its flanks boast wood and cinder block builds. The buildings are also not small in their size with the Big Room almost 2 stories in height and the Community Room being 2 stories with an attic. One of the nice things about the property’s landscape are the trees that surround the buildings. The perimeter is lined by crape myrtles and the porch has smaller japanese maples growing between it and the Big Room. The parking lot also has large Pin Oak trees at its edge that provide shade across the entirety of the pavement most of the day. The spacing of the buildings also provides good wind flow allowing breezes to sweep across the porch of hot days helping to cool it down.
ACF also has some history that it doesn’t show all that well. It was constructed in the 1970s after the land was donated to ACF’s founding board by a former Auburn fraternity. The current building and campus ministry have been running since then. Despite changes in staffing and renovations to the buildings, the ministry has operated essentially the same way since the 70s with community being the main focus. This community focus is reinforced by the openness of the buildings and the flow that they accommodate throughout the day with people always slowing as they pass through to greet friends or take a quick break from studying. In a way the landscape states the usage of the building better than the sign does.