NO, we are NOT a soriety or fraternity!
It all started in the academic year of 97'-98'. There was an assistant football coach to the UMM Cougars name Coach Raeford . He was a christian African-American, who had a heart for the unreached of this campus (African-American football players and African-American students overall). During the 97'-98' academic year, he would advertise by word of mouth about gatherings on Friday nights to fellowship with one another and talk about the relationship with Jesus Christ. There were Friday nights where other students (Caucasian, Latinos/Chicanos, Native-Indian, and Asian-Americans) would come to check it out because of this man's heart to reach the "minorities".
In the Fall of 98'-99', those Friday night fellowships stopped because UMM Cougar's former football coach left for another career opportunity in another state. In the first 3 weeks of the 10-week Fall Quarter, Cory Brannen, Germaine McFarland (2-African American football players), Keia Johnson, (African-American student) and Salvador Monteagudo (Asian-American); all them students that sometime visited former Coach Raeford met with one another to share the same vision they had a on re-starting this type of fellowship gathering. Monteagudo, who was an active Outreach member of UMM's IVCF, acted upon this same vision after Dan Ford (Caucasian-American), a student that lived in the same floor of one of the Residential Halls prophecied to start this similar type of fellowship towards the end of the 97'-98' academic year. Monteagudo got the real confirmation about helping out to start this new type of fellowship after Keia Johnson (who also lived in the same floor of the Residential Hall) told about Cory and Germaine's same vision the following academic year (98'-99')
Here was the problem beforehand: The now well-know active IVCF group in campus had been struggling in getting more "minority" students to come fellowship with them in their large group meetings every Wednesday fellowship with them in their large group meetings every Wednesday nights. There were a handful of them coming, but not many of them came regularly. IVCF had an Outreach Committee on reaching the campus. This Salvador said, "If we can't get them to come fellowship with us on Wednesdays, then we have to come to them".
By the middle in the Fall Quarter of 98', this NEW fellowship group started meeting in the t.v. lounge of the Minority Resource Center. By word of mouth in our group of friends, we had an attendance of less than 15 people. We then realize that this was the beginning of something to come from God. We started to create an e-mail list and publicize ourselves as Christian Fellowship, reaching the unreached of this white-majority populated campus and rural community.
During winter vacation after the first quarter of 98'-99', some of the students and an international student, Prince Amattoe (Ghana, Africa) that helped re-start this Friday weekly fellowship wanted to come up with a new name for our new to be student organization. Monteagudo told one of them that he wanted to see what an African-American church is like. He has heard what the African-American churches is like from his friends in Chicago ("Chi-town"). They looked in the yellow pages of St. Paul to find one they can go to. After several calls, we were referred from another African-American church to Shiloh Baptist Ministry. In there, we got to stomp' and worship the same God in a different way from what we got to in Morris, MN. After their 3+ long hour Sunday service, we met the Pastor's son. We had a chance to tell him about what God is doing and will be doing in Morris, MN through this new type of fellowship. He then referred us to meet with Lorna Johnson (African-American), who is an adviser to this same type of group that we have in the Univeristy of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. They started back in 1996, which they called themselves Alpha & Omega.
When we went back to Morris for the beginning of the Winter Quarter of 99', we pondered and prayed about what name we should call ourselves. We first suggested Agape (means love in Greek) because of our fond of the great Reverened Martin Luther King Jr. He preached that we need to love all people (black, white,....) because God loves them. Then we thought about Alpha & Omega. We prayfully decided to have this same name, so that we will have similar and close ties with the same type of group in the UofM, Twin Cities campus. It also has a nice Biblical ring to it-Alpha & Omega.
Below used to be the information for A&O and Chi Alpha...