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Juniors Regan Lasch and Brooke Conrad are res­i­dents of the North House, owned by Hillsdale Free Methodist Church. (Sutton Dun­woodie | Col­legian)

Three Hillsdale College stu­dents are receiving rent-free housing thanks to Hillsdale Free Methodist Church.

Senior Rebecca Huff and juniors Brooke Conrad and Regan Lasch vol­unteer at the church for five hours a week. In exchange, they receive housing on church property in a little house called the North House.

This church program, which has been running for over a decade, is open to Hillsdale College stu­dents who commit to com­pleting the required service hours.

“The program is a win-win for everyone,” said Rev. Keith Porter, the senior pastor at the church. “We get the house looked after by respon­sible stu­dents and get help with min­istry while the stu­dents get free housing.”

Stu­dents in the program typ­i­cally attend service at Free Methodist, but it is not a requirement. Lasch and Conrad both attend Free Methodist while Huff attends a dif­ferent church.

“We just look for people who have min­istry in their hearts,” Porter said. “They don’t need to be working at our service on Sunday morning. They can do mission work in dif­ferent ways.”

Hillsdale Free Methodist Church (Sutton Dun­woodie | Col­legian)

Lasch and Huff both look after children in the church’s nursery on Wednesdays during an adult Bible study session.

“It’s cool living here because we have a stronger con­nection to the church now,” Lasch said. “It has helped me get to know so many members of the church that I wouldn’t have met oth­erwise. It’s been a great way to get plugged-in to the church.”

Conrad helps lead worship on Sunday morning and accom­panies the organ on piano.

“It’s been nice to play and get to know more members of the church,” Conrad said. “I also think the church appre­ciates that stu­dents are getting more involved.”

Porter said some past par­tic­i­pants in the program have chosen to vol­unteer at their current churches.

“We have at least a half-dozen former res­i­dents that have con­tinued to do mission work,” Porter said. “I think the res­i­dents just find a home within the church. They want to maintain the con­nection that mission offers.”

Stu­dents who are inter­ested in this oppor­tunity should speak with Porter at the church. However, the program will not take in any new stu­dents soon, because the current res­i­dents of the house plan on staying for the 2018 – 2019 school year.

Porter said he selects stu­dents stu­dents with “a passion for min­istry– stu­dents who are not only in the program for the free housing.”

While free housing is only a part of what the program offers stu­dents, it will con­tinue to be an attractive incentive for stu­dents.

“My dad was super excited when he found out he didn’t have to pay for rent,” Conrad said. “It saves a ton of money.”