Appalachian State University

Join us every Wednesday at 8:30pm in the Student Union (Grandfather Mountain Ballroom)

Welcome to RUF! We are a Christian ministry for App State where the grace of God in Jesus Christ is at the center of everything we do. Our desire is that every student at App State would have an opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus, wrestle with his claims, and find home in a community that embodies the values of his kingdom.

RUF welcomes students who are committed, curious, skeptical, or cynical. So come visit us at a large group on a Wednesday night, at First-Year Fellowship, or join us at any event! We'd love to meet you and hear your story!

Join Us

Large Group

Wednesday at 8:30PM
Student Union (in Grandfather Mountain Ballroom)

Morning Prayer

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM
Crosspoint Church


Join us as we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ruf at app state

september 13-14, 2024


  • Friday evening: Welcome Party at 5:30 PM – Crosspoint Community Church | 132 Councill St. Boone, NC 28607
  • Saturday morning: Light Breakfast and Devotion at 10:00 AM – Crosspoint Community Church | 132 Councill St. Boone, NC 28607
  • Saturday afternoon: Free time to hang out in Boone
  • Saturday evening: Celebration Dinner at 6:00 PMGrandview Ballroom at Kidd Brewer Stadium | 135 Jack Branch Dr. Boone, NC 28608

Hosted by: Frank & Stephanie Laughlin (Intern ‘01–‘04); James Perez (‘10); Andrew Thrash (‘13); Alex Gottfried (‘13); Mary Brooke Seale French (‘15) & Lee French (‘15); Anna Howard Grider (‘15); Kristen Schonover (‘16); Olivia Shields (‘16); Elizabeth Dellinger Wagner (‘17) & Bailey Wagner (‘18); Justin Kendrick (Campus Minister ‘99 - ‘09); Matt Howell (Campus Minister ‘09 - ‘13); Sara Jane & Chris Horne (Campus Minister ‘13 - ‘19); Mary Lee & Rob Herron (Campus Minister ‘20 - ‘23); with Riley & Alec Cotton, RUF Campus Minister

Students looking for more information on RUF at App State, visit:

Meet Our Team

Alec Cotton

Alec Cotton

Campus Minister

Alec grew up in Connecticut and Florida before attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, where he confirmed a call into ministry. He is married to Riley, his High School sweetheart, and they have two kids: Miles (born 2017) and Marlee (born 2020). He attended Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and served for 8 years as a student ministry director and assistant pastor at Christ Church Presbyterian in Jacksonville, FL. Having been around the awesome people of RUF for a while, and feeling a deep desire to minister to college students, the Cottons took the call to App State in 2023. Alec is excited to be the Campus Minister at ASU and to be exploring the mountains. Reach out to get together for some combination of good food, good coffee, good conversation, and exploring! You can reach him at (904) 687-5303.

Sophia Barkhouse

Sophia Barkhouse


I grew up as a missionary kid in Kosovo until my sophomore year of high school, when my family moved to our US home in Columbus, GA. I attended the University of Georgia (go dawgs sic em woof) and got my degree in Social Work with a certificate in Music Business. RUF was a turning point in my relationship with Christ and brought me closer to him despite my reluctant and easily distracted heart. I led worship at RUF and love to write and play music in my free time! I also love a good cup of coffee, running, laughing, reading, being silly, and being in God's creation! I'm so excited to move to Boone and meet the students at App State -- go neers!

Thomas Hicks

Thomas Hicks


Thomas grew up in Shelby, North Carolina. Shelby is a small town nestled between Charlotte, NC and the mountains. Thomas loves sports, played football and basketball in high school, and is passionate about using a camera for video and photos. And of course he also loves chilling with his friends in any way! And he dabbles in a little writing. Thomas graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Media and Journalism on the AD/PR side. He is excited to get to App State to see how the Lord will use him and how he can help contribute to the already great work going on there.