Interviewee: Jennifer Colvin
Interviewer: Diana Wallace-Bernstein
Date of Interview: October 21, 2012
Format: WAV file; mpeg audio file and transcript
Length of Interview: 56 minutes
Length of Transcript: 26 pages
Jennifer Colvin was born on July 13th, 1991, in Atlanta, Georgia. She is of African American and Jamaican heritage. She grew up in a diverse neighborhood with various religious backgrounds. She was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition and attended Hopewell Baptist Church with her mother and siblings. Religion played a significant role in her childhood, and she was saved at 7 years of age. At 18, she rededicated her life to her faith. She traveled to India on a study abroad program during the summer. She is single and was junior at GSU at the time of the interview. Her current religious affiliation is spiritual, that there is one God and we are all connected in the world.
Ms. Colvin was aware of good and evil from an early age. She remembers being aware of “something out there” and wanted to be on God’s side, affirmed by an experience of witnessing her grandmother dying peacefully and smiling. During her childhood, she went to church with her mother and remembers the services being hours long. When she attained her driver’s license, her mother encouraged Ms. Colvin and her siblings to independently choose if they wanted to continue attending church. Ms. Colvin was the only child that continued to attend, without her siblings or mother. As a child she felt that Christianity was the only way. Many experiences, such as exposure to a religiously diverse neighborhood, conversations with a Rastafarian coworker, visiting a Hindu Temple in Atlanta, and dating a Jewish boyfriend encouraged Ms. Colvin’s exploration and interest in other religious and spiritual options. During the summer, Ms. Colvin traveled to India with a study abroad class. She continues to be interested in the practices of other religions and this exposure has expanded her experience of her own spirituality. She now sees herself as a spiritual person without a religious denomination and sees commonalities in the major religious traditions. Although she is aware of prayer groups and the religious diversity on campus at GSU, Ms Colvin chooses to explore religious organizations independently and outside of school. She is thankful for the opportunity to take an introductory religious studies course at GSU which led to her study abroad experience in India.
African-American, Jamaican, Southern Baptist, Hopewell Baptist, Saved, Rededication, Religious Diversity, Rastafarian, Jewish, Hindu, Temple, Study Abroad, India, Spiritual