When Union sent me an official acceptance letter, I called my friend who attended Union at the time and drilled her on all I needed to know as an incoming freshman.
“You have to have Instagram,” she said. “And everyone goes to Buell’s house on Friday nights, so you have to go.”
“Who’s Buell?” I asked.
I quickly learned that Buell is a man who “kinda looks like Santa without the beard,” and that his wife makes “the best cinnamon rolls in the world.”
After four years of walking past Buell’s office in
Campus Ministries and eating Kathy’s cinnamon rolls, I can say there’s more to the Foggs than Santa and cinnamon rolls.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Buell about his time at Union. “I love this family,” he said. “God brought us here and this is definitely where we’re supposed to be.”
Buell worked in Enrollment Services for most of his 16 years at Union. He enjoyed it because he could “combine two things that I love and have passion for—working with high school kids and preaching.”
Anyone who knows Buell can see the spark in his eyes when he shares Jesus with students. In his own words, “It’s really a passion of mine, being able to hang out with kids, to do ministry with kids and to open up before them the realm of possibility of what life is like with Jesus and knowing Him, experiencing Him in his fullness and walking with Him.”
In 2010, Buell transferred to Campus Ministries to serve as associate chaplain, but still hit the road sharing Jesus—and Union—with teens around the country.
One of Buell’s favorite jobs has been running UCrew—a group of students who visit camp meetings and summer camps each year. “Brian Adams ’02, who is now CEO of Florida Hospital Tampa, had that brainchild when he was here at Union and I worked in enrollment,” said Buell. “I saw how effective it was and I thought, ‘Oh, we just gotta keep that.’ So I took it under my wing and ran with it for about 15 years.”
Over the years he saw how UCrew impacted future Union students and the crew themselves. Students told him, “I saw how cool those kids were and how much they loved Jesus and I wanted to come to Union because of that,” said Buell. “That was special. Through the years I’ve had kids on UCrew who I ended up doing weddings for because they married each other,“ Buell laughed.
And Buell and Kathy’s ministry to Union students isn’t limited to on-campus. For as long as I attended Union, almost every Friday evening Buell and Kathy opened their home to hundreds of college students and our endless hunger for Kathy’s cinnamon rolls. We’d hang out, talk, sing and just let loose after a week of exams and papers.
“Kathy and I have enjoyed our cinnamon roll ministry so much,” said Buell. “We are glad they feel like they have a home to go to when Friday night comes and they get to wind down.”
Buell and Kathy’s ministry at Union College has been all about reaching students, and Buell says they will continue to minister in coming years. And he’s not retiring completely—he’ll still work part-time in Campus Ministries.
“We’ve been really excited and proud to be a part of this college because it’s a college we both attended and love. God called us back here for a reason for this time, and we’re really grateful for that. We’re glad to have the opportunity to share a little bit of who we are and hope God shows Himself through us to reach lives for Him.