U.S. Missions career associate Morgan A. Fulton and her husband, Isaac, have entered their second year as Chi Alpha directors at the nation’s only Catholic Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campus, Xavier University of Louisiana.
Xavier is known as a pipeline for graduating Black students going to medical school. It is rated third academically among 79 HBCUs in the latest U.S. News rankings. The school in New Orleans attracts students from 32 states, with females accounting for 77% of enrollees.
While on staff at Tulane, Isaac spent parts of six years building connections at Xavier. Xavier had no ministry like Chi Alpha before.
Thirty students attend weekly life group meetings and a monthly worship service. The Fultons figure few premed students taking full course loads can commit to two gatherings each week.
“They’re coming in often as nominal Christians,” says the soft-spoken and mannerly Isaac, 30. “They may have gone to church on Sunday growing up, but they don’t abide with God the rest of the week. We want to teach them how to have a personal relationship with the Lord, how to share the gospel, and how to make disciples who make disciples.”
“Those who grew up in cultural Christianity don’t have a relationship that affects how they spend their money, what they watch on media, how they speak, and who their friends are,” says Morgan, 31.
Morgan, who is an ordained Assemblies of God minister, attended Louisiana Tech, where she earned an early childhood education degree. Isaac is a graduate of the University of New Orleans, where he received a psychology degree. Both stayed active in Chi Alpha during their college years.
After she finished her bachelor’s degree, Morgan didn’t have peace about teaching. Isaac applied to graduate programs en route to a psychology career, but sensed God telling him he could help people in a different and better way through Chi Alpha.
Morgan now is part of the Chi Alpha Diversity Task Force, which has a goal of doubling the number of HBCU campuses — currently 10 — on which the AG ministry is active.
“The Assemblies of God is one of the most diverse Christian movements,” says Morgan, who spent a couple of years leading Chi Alpha women’s ministries at Loyola University. “One of my callings is seeing other women who look like me walking into leadership.”
Isaac in turn is committed to ethnic diversity.
“I want to see students and staff of all races feel welcome at all levels,” Isaac says.
U.S. missionary Matthew L. DeGier, citywide team leader for Chi Alpha in New Orleans, over the years has provided pastoral and organizational support for the Fultons, who have no staff help at Xavier University.
DeGier, 42, believes the Fultons, who have a 3-year-old son, Isaac, have excelled at Xavier.
“Isaac’s fruitfulness is striking and the group has flourished,” DeGier says. “As full-time missionaries embedded in the community, they have an opportunity to encourage students in a way part-time volunteers or even church staff can’t.”
DeGier, who planted the Chi Alpha chapter at Tulane in 2003 with his U.S. missionary wife Jen, lauds Isaac for his consistency and listening abilities. He commends Morgan for her unflagging optimism and hospitality.
“Chi Alpha is starting to pay attention to HBCUs,” DeGier says. “There is a great need and opportunity to disciple this generation of Black leaders in America.”
Despite its location in the South, Tulane is a highly secularized school and often voted among the nation’s top “party schools” in surveys, according to DeGier. But he is grateful for opportunities to evangelize and disciple students from foreign lands.
“We get to represent Jesus to folks from all over the world,” DeGier says. “Some of them stay in the U.S., but many go home, sometimes to places where there is little representation of Jesus.”
LOWER PHOTO: Matthew DeGier (left) continues to offer guidance to Isaac and Morgan Fulton, who are the parents of Isaac.