Ben McClay

Here’s the story: A young man is raised in the church by Christian parents with strong values. The time comes for college. He chooses a small, liberal arts university because it’s close to home, but not too close, plus the food is good. 

In his freshman year, a group of upperclassmen recruit him to their fraternity, and because he looks up to them, he pledges. By winter of his freshman year, this Christian young man is a full-fledged initiate of one of the largest fraternities on campus.

What do you think happens next? You might be surprised.

Ben McClay is not your stereotypical frat boy. He came to college as a strong Christian, and pledged Phi Kappa Psi because the values in the fraternity’s creedacademic excellence, loyalty to religion, family, brotherhood and giving back to the local communityfit with what he believed. Joining meant being part of a community where forty other guys “have his back,” no matter what he was going through. 

At the same time, Ben was connecting with CCO staff person Jake Blasdel. They met at the Well, a weekly chapel service, and deepened their relationship on a spring break backpacking trip. In February of Ben’s junior year, he attended the Jubilee conference—his first spiritual retreat since high schooland came back to Ashland with a new goal. 

It was time, Ben decided, to start a Bible study in his fraternity. He knew a lot of the guys didn’t want to have anything to do with campus ministry, but said that they would be willing to learn scripture if it was brought to them in a Bible study format.  

Weekly, these young men meet to study the book of Matthew, many of them reconnecting with scriptures they haven’t heard since they were kids. And Ben is there with them, not as an expert, but as a leader, a facilitator, a brother among brothers. To those who have a desire to know more about God, Ben has a calling to spread the Word of the Lord—right in the place God planted him.