By Laci Sutton / Staff writer

Fellowship is arguably one of the most important aspects of many religions. Weekly services with a full congregation are great for setting a foundation in faith, but small group settings are an excellent environment for being able to dive deep and talk about how faith is working.

For local youth pastor Brandon Conrad, that was his main goal when starting up the Hutch First Naz college group three years ago.

Conrad moved to Hutchinson from Kentucky where he had been doing youth ministry for middle and high-school-aged kids. Upon arriving in Hutch he noticed a gap in ministry in the area.

“I knew if anybody was going to start a young adult ministry, it had to be me” Conrad said. “It started out with two, maybe three college students meeting at our house and now it’s grown to what it is now.”

Each week, students are provided a free meal (typically homemade by Conrad) followed by some sort of lesson or discussion and of course, game night.

For Hutchinson freshman Kaylee Unruh, the Hutch First Naz college group has brought her a sense of community and a time to relax during the week.

The college group is not exclusive to those identifying with a specific faith and welcomes everyone from all walks of life.
“It’s OK to belong before you believe. Just come with an open mind and have fun,” Unruh said.

Evan Dormanto, a HutchCC sophomore from Indonesia, came to the college group after being invited by a fellow student, Felipe Trautman.

“I grew up in a Buddhist family but wasn’t religious myself, then I was an atheist for most of the time. I didn’t believe in God,” Dormanto said. “A friend invited me to church in December 2020 and that was it for me.”

Since the group was started three years ago, it has nearly quadrupled in size. The group now meets every Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at Hutch First Naz located at 4290 N. Monroe. For any questions or interest in joining, contact Conrad at 606-584-9947.

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