College ministry hosts ‘Skate Jam’

The House of Judah Christian Collegiate Ministry used Christian contemporary music to help set the tone for “praise” and worship at its fifth annual Skate Jam on Friday.

More than 230 people attended the event at Skate World on Northeast Capital Circle.

HOJ, founded in 2001 by a group of young people in Tallahassee, aims to provide an alternative to the typical collegiate lifestyle by offering Christian-based social events for youth.

“Judah,” which means “praise” in Hebrew, is what the group tries to promote in events that all students can enjoy, not just Christians.

The event was held from 11:45 p.m. to 2 a.m. With Christian-based music filling the air, the organization held true to its motto, “encouraging and witnessing to the new generation.” Orrane Smith, 28, the president of the organization and a 2001 FAMU graduate, acknowledged students, youth and community support in making the event successful.

Smith was ecstatic about the turnout, which was the largest for the group in its five-year history.

“Most students feel that Christian events are boring and mundane, and that all that will be discussed is God and the normal Christian talk,” Smith said. “That is the basis of our organization, but we try to do it with a new and innovative twist but with the same message, and that is to praise.”

The Skate Jam included scores of people from youth to young adults. Smith attributes the success of the event to great promotion and the ability of the organization to appeal to both Christian and non-Christian crowds.

Alsean Bryant, a 20-year-old third-year pharmacy student from Waycross, Ga., is a strong supporter of HOJ and was excited about the event.

“You really have to appreciate having an alternative to the everyday lifestyles that we run into as students,” Bryant said. “Being able to come to an event with the backing of God and the support of young people who are at the event just to have a good time is a good thing.”

Bryant also attributed the success of the event to the executives of the organizations.

“The founders and workers of this organization make the events go (well), he said. “Without their vision, events like this may never have taken place in this city.”

With both non-Christian and Christian persons in attendance, HOJ showed, by example, that everyone does not have to be “saved” to enjoy a Christian event.

“I am happy to see that you can take part of an event with God and Christianity as the basis in a social setting and not feel convicted,” said Devin Minton, a 21-year-old senior biology student.

The Tallahassee native took part in the Skate Jam because of its lack of traditional church elements.

“It shows me that it’s not always about Sunday mornings and shouting,” Minton said.

The House of Judah reached its goal by offering a positive Christian alternative to students.

For more information about the organization and future events, visit its Web site at