About

We are seekers. We are dreamers. We are believers.

We are a community of college students and postgraduates who are pursuing God and being transformed by His love for us. We all come from different backgrounds and we each have a unique story to tell. Some of us have a strong faith foundation and some of us are exploring God for the first time in college. What unites us is our shared passion to know the God who created us, rescued us, and transforms us in Jesus Christ.

Our Story

Back in 2008, we were 20 people with one dream: to plant a church in a college town for college students and young adults. Some of us had prayed for years about starting a new church, and some of us had just graduated college and were looking for an adventure. We visited Kent a handful of times and were struck each time by the need for a gospel centered church on campus. We sensed God leading us to move here, so with the blessing of our previous church, H2O BGSU, we were sent out to plant H2O Kent.

God has grown our church over the years, not just in numbers, but in character and maturity. What was once something we could only imagine has now become a reality. We were—and still are—just ordinary people compelled by the need for Jesus at Kent State. God met us here and used us to plant a church that has impacted the lives of hundreds of young people. We are blown away by the power and goodness of God.

Our story continues. We dream of planting dozens of churches out of Kent, sending out teams of people to go to new cities and new campuses in need of Jesus. We believe young men and women who are now students at Kent State will join us—some as staff members and most as graduates with a heart for the gospel—in planting new churches in places we trust God will make known to us.

Our Name

“What’s the story behind your name?” That is a question we get a lot. No, we are not a church of chemistry students. Our name is actually rooted in a story from the Gospel of John, a scene from the life of Jesus. And it captures perfectly what we are all about at H2O.

A woman went to a well to get water. She was doing something ordinary, something she had probably done a thousand times before. But while she was there, she met Jesus. She didn’t know at first that He was God. But during their conversation it became clear that Jesus was not just an ordinary man.

Jesus told her the things she pursued to find life were empty and would leave her more broken. Then, while she filled a jug with water, he offered her something that would quench her deeper thirst. He called it living water and he was talking about himself. He told her that what she needed most was to be transformed by the God who knew her every struggle. And that’s exactly what happened as she embraced Jesus by that well. Her life was radically changed and she couldn’t wait to tell her family and friends.

You are doing something ordinary. Going to college. Writing papers. Making friends. Changing your major. What if, just like that woman at the well two thousand years ago, Jesus wants to change your life? We are all looking for life, purpose, and belonging. And we look in lots of places to find these things. But in the end it’s only Jesus, the One who made us, who can give us exactly what we are looking for.

OurPassion2

Our Passion

We love Jesus and we love college students. We think college is the best time to learn what it means to follow Jesus with all our hearts. It’s the place where we grow up. We decide what matters most in life. We choose a career and maybe even a spouse. We set the trajectory of our lives here.

We believe it’s a time when Jesus wants us to know He is real, that He is more than a familiar story or a religious routine. He is the God of the Universe who made us and knows everything about us. Our passions and our fears. Our joy and our brokenness. Our past and our future. And He does not leave us where we are, but makes us new. He breathes new life into us and we are forever changed.

At H2O, we are not interested in playing church. We want to know this God who came and rescued us in Jesus Christ, and we want to join Him in His mission to redeem the whole world. Together we bring our doubts and our dreams, and we pursue Jesus with everything we have.

Our Partnerships

Planting churches on college campuses is an ambitious mission, and we humbly recognize our need to be supported in this work. Here are some of our partners that make our ministry possible.

Reliant Mission. Reliant Mission is a missionary sending agency that employs each staff member of H2O Church. Reliant partners with missional churches and gospel-centered nonprofits to mobilize support-based missionaries for the Great Commission. Each staff member is supported by the generosity of individuals who give to Reliant Mission on their behalf. Through the work at Reliant Mission, we are given the opportunity to do this work full-time.

The Collegiate Church Network. The Collegiate Church Network is our primary ecclesial affiliation. We adhere to Collegiate’s doctrinal statement and governance guidelines, receive coaching from network leaders, and enjoy close relationships with the staff of other Collegiate churches. There are currently 15 network churches on or around major universities throughout the United States. H2O Church is glad to be partnered with a larger network of churches with a vision for planting churches on campuses and reaching young people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

H2O Network. Within the Collegiate Church Network, the H2O Network functions as a network of churches that share a common name and geographic proximity. Currently, the H2O Network is a collection of seven churches, six of which have been planted since 2008. Each church has a unique expression based on the culture of its campus, yet we share a common ministry practice and a commitment to planting collegiate churches in and around the state of Ohio.

North American Mission Board. We are privileged to be partnered with the North American Mission Board in its commitment to supporting collegiate church planting in the United States. Our partnership with NAMB brings us into relationship with other collegiate churches outside our own network, allowing us to learn from others engaged in this unique work of planting churches for college students. NAMB also helps provide our staff with ongoing training and resources to equip us in our work.

Emerge Counseling. While our staff are experienced in supporting and counseling young people, we recognize that there are situations and circumstances that require professional counseling. For this reason we created a partnership with Emerge, a Christ-centered professional mental health agency located in Akron. Our partnership allows Kent State students to receive regular or occasional counseling at significantly reduced costs and without the burden of traveling to the main counseling center. Counselors will arrange times to meet with students in private rooms on the campus of Kent State. If you are interested in seeing an Emerge counselor or have questions about counseling, please contact our staff liaison Eric Asp.

Our Staff Team

Our team is a quirky group, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We love leading a collegiate church together. When it comes down to it, we believe that college students have incredible potential. That is why we take it as a great privilege to lead this community. While we are on the same team, we are rather different, too. Take a look below to see for yourself!

Pastors

EricAsp

Eric Asp
Pastor of Mission and Outreach · Elder Board

On Staff Since
January 1999
Hometown
Shelby, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
I got my Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Bowling Green State University. My major was Telecommunications (Television Production), and my minor was Creative Writing.
In My Free Time
In my free time I run, write, and raise my family. The running typically happens in training for half-marathons and the occasional full-marathon; the writing is usually short-form prose; and in between it all I have the privilege of raising three energetic children—Elliot, Olivia, and Cor—together with my wife Marci.
Favorite Books
Life After God by Douglas Coupland; Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot; The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway; The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Blogs/News Sites I Read
This American Life, 99 Percent Invisible, The Holy Post
Fun Facts
I have a great-uncle who built a replica Viking ship in a potato warehouse in western Minnesota and then organized a crew who sailed it from Lake Superior across the North Atlantic Ocean to Norway in 1980.
How I Found H2O
I got involved with H2O as a freshman at Bowling Green State University. I went to college as a “church kid” who had a sense that I ought to find a Christian community on campus—but I had no idea that getting involved in a living, breathing, New-Testament-style church on campus would initiate a dramatic spiritual renaissance in me. Throughout my university years, I was really brought to deal with the lust, hate, and pride in my life and find my purpose in living for Christ instead.
JasonSlack

Jason Slack
Pastor of Spiritual Formation · Elder Board

On Staff Since
January 2002
Hometown
Mansfield, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
Undergraduate: BS in Business Education; Graduate: MA in Education, MA in Christian Studies
In My Free Time
In my free time I love to play with my three kids, go on dates with my wife, run with my dog, eat chicken wings with friends (Jammin’ Jalapeño), lead backpacking trips with the local high school, and budget.
Favorite Books
Lately I’ve been enjoying books by Henri Nouwen, Bob Kauflin, Tim Keller, and Larry Crabb
Blogs/News Sites I Read
Backpacker Magazine, Runner’s World, Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition
Fun Facts
I’ve never broken a bone or had stitches. My grandpa was in the army at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. I have a fear of heights, flying in an airplane, being in small spaces, and cutting my toenails.
How I Found H2O
I came to college as a new Christian and filled out an H2O survey card on campus during the first week of classes. Someone followed up with me that same night and invited me to a Bible study in my residence hall. After that, I started meeting people from H2O all over the place! They were in my classes, dining halls, and dorm!

Staff

MarkBrewer

Mark Brewer
Teaching · City Life Groups · Discipleship

On Staff Since
February 2007
Hometown
Richland, Washington; North Augusta, South Carolina; Celina, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
I studied Integrated Social Studies at Bowling Green State University for my undergrad and Special Education at Kent State at a graduate level
In My Free Time
I spend time with my beautiful wife Stephanie and our adorable kids, Agnes and Ezra. I love to cook, and I also train for the occaisional marathon.
Favorite Books
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster; The Reason for God by Timothy Keller; The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning
Blogs/News Sites I Read
AV Club, Politico, FiveThirtyEight, Desiring God
Fun Facts
When not working as a part time staffer for H2O, I’m a full time Special Education teacher at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent.
How I Found H2O
Coming into college as a Christian, I knew I needed to find a community right away. Some brave people at H2O didn’t let the fact that I had a red mohawk intimidate them and they asked me to fill out a survey. I quickly fell in love with the community, the opportunities to serve, and all of the people who were serious about following Christ in college.
HunterChenevey

Hunter Chenevey
Life Groups · Experience Team · Social Media · The Well · Discipleship 

On Staff Since
February 2021
Hometown
Medina, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology
In My Free Time
Playing video games, reading, spending time with people, any sort of physical activity where I can compete (regardless of my skill) 
Favorite Books
God Has a Name by John Mark Comer and Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby
Blogs/News Sites I Read
Axios, Tangle, Adam Schefter's twitter, Christianity Today, National Geographic
Fun Facts
I can do a very, very good cartwheel. Please ask me to do one. 
How I Found H2O
A friend from my hometown told me to check H2O Church out so I started my search for a college church there. Went to an H2O ultimate frisbee game my second day on campus and I've been involved ever since!
JuliaFerence

Julia Ference
Music Team · Discipleship · Life Groups

On Staff Since
June 2018
Hometown
Broadview Heights, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
I got my BA in Communication Studies with a focus in Interpersonal Communication.
In My Free Time
In my free time I like to: explore new places, drink good coffee, play guitar, watch New Girl, and chase sunsets.
Favorite Books
The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, The Reason for God by Timothy Keller, and The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
Fun Facts
When I raise my eyebrows, I don’t have forehead lines.
How I Found H2O
My youth pastor at my home church knew one of the H2O staff members at the time. He emailed him two months before I came to Kent so that I could be connected right away. I checked out the very first service with my friend Kelly Powell and (clearly) haven’t turned back since!
NickLarson

Nick Larson
Discipleship · Life Groups · Outreach

On Staff Since
January 2017
Hometown
Dayton, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
Communication Studies
In My Free Time
Running, reading, conversations
Favorite Books
Mere Christianity, The Pastor, The Phantom Tollbooth
Blogs/News Sites I Read
FiveThirtyEight
Fun Facts
My family’s claim to fame is elbow coin flipping!
How I Found H2O
Recommendation of a pastor at a retreat.
KaylaScheufler

Kayla Scheufler
Experience Team · Discipleship

On Staff Since
June 2012
Hometown
Sandusky, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
Speech Pathology and Audiology
In My Free Time
I play guitar and sing. Listen to music. Watch movies. Read. Play games.
Favorite Books
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Fun Facts
I like to dance and pluck my eyebrows obsessively.
How I Found H2O
I knew I needed to find a church on Bowling Green’s campus (where I started my college career) and I saw a flyer for H2O! I went the very first Sunday and kept going after I attended a fusion (similar to our life groups here at Kent).
LindsaySlack

Lindsay Slack
H2O Kids Teams · Discipleship

On Staff Since
July 2004
Hometown
Napoleon, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and am a licensed social worker.
In My Free Time
In my free time I enjoy a good cup of coffee, spending time with the people I love, and thrifting.
Fun Facts
I was a college athlete. I competed on the Bowling Green State University diving team through all my four years of college.
How I Found H2O
Coming to college, I was in a position where I was searching for a Christian community and friends. God graciously placed me in a dorm hallway with people that loved me well and wanted to find God in college. During the first week of my freshmen year, I overheard the girl next door say she was going to check out H2O. I ran over to her room and said I would go with her!
LaurenWoolum

Lauren Woolum
Special Events · Discipleship · Life Groups

On Staff Since
June 2015
Hometown
Marysville, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
Technology
In My Free Time
I like to cook for other people, get hype about random things, go orienteering, watch movies, talk about car problems, and pretend I’m a woodworker.
Favorite Books
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom; The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
Blogs/News Sites I Read
The Gospel Coalition; Eric Asp's Blog
Fun Facts
When I was in the 6th grade, I was a part of an after-school basket weaving club.
How I Found H2O
My freshman year I had no plan for how my (admittedly shallow) walk with God would continue when I moved to Kent. Thankfully, a friend from home invited me to check out H2O with her our first weekend on campus. I felt immediately drawn in to the community, got involved in just about everything right away, and very quickly grew in my understanding of Jesus. The result has been a deepening and dynamic relationship with Christ that I can’t imagine living without.
BrianYinger

Brian Yinger
Production Team · Music Team · Video

On Staff Since
April 2012
Hometown
Wapakoneta, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
Visual Communication
In My Free Time
I host a podcast called We Like Dota, pour coffee at Artisan, play a lot of games, and read books.
Favorite Books
The Dark Tower by Stephen King
Blogs/News Sites I Read
Reddit, Gosu Gamers, Liquid Dota
Fun Facts
I can lick my elbow.
How I Found H2O
Arriving on BGSU’s campus, I was looking for a church. I had a friend who already was a part of H2O, and said they needed a drummer.

Associate Staff

TylerHerzog

Tyler Herzog
Production Team · City Life Group

On Staff Since
May 2016
Hometown
Dalton, Ohio
What did you Study in College?
Computer Science
In My Free Time
I run, listen to music, play board games
Favorite Books
Ready Player One, Atlas Shrugged, The Hobbit
Blogs/News Sites I Read
Reddit, Jalopnik
Fun Facts
I worked on a farm in high school
How I Found H2O
Cards night in the student center basement in 2009. I met Jason Slack and Chad Frank.
H2O Church
P.O. Box 614
Kent, Ohio 44240

info@h2okent.com