This past summer, I had the privilege of serving and representing Arkansas Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) to all of the campers at Camp Siloam. During one of the break times, I had been spending time among some of the pastors, youth leaders, and many volunteers and staff working at camp. Among this group was Pastor Todd Peebles, and his son Asa who had just graduated high school. Todd is the senior pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church (FSBC) of Independence, Kansas.
Todd and I spent time talking about the importance of BCM in both of our lives, and it led to a conversation about the kind of reach that was happening on campuses like the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Todd went to college at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and encountered BCM ministry under the leadership of Tim Smith. Todd was so encouraged by the ministry stories I was sharing after only having been a part of the ABSC for six months at that point, he began brainstorming with me about what campus ministry would look like on the campus of Independence Community College (ICC) in Kansas.
Fast forward a few months, and Todd’s son Asa began going to ICC to complete his basic coursework. While in school, Asa began a Bible study, and encountered one student who joined him. FSBC started feeding students, at one point feeding over thirty students, and then had an attendance of 18 students at a Bible study, where six of them who were student athletes would profess Christ as Savior and Lord. This ministry of beginning BCM on the campus of ICC was birthed out of a conversation that gave encouragement, ultimately leading to the conversion of these students.
Campus ministry is meant to multiply, because the church is meant to multiply. There are a number of ways in which Arkansas BCM has been crucial in not just developing leaders, but even having a hand in starting whole ministries through the gospel-centered stories we share with those we serve. “The harvest is plentiful,” were the words of our Lord Jesus, we can hope He is pleased by the number of increasing laborers in the field.