It is impossible to overstate the importance of our Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) on campuses around our state. The microcosm expression of cooperative missions is treasured in the hearts of thousands of current and former collegians who fill our pulpits, serve on the mission field, sit in our pews, teach our classes, lead our Bible studies and raise families in the communities of Arkansas and around the nation. But I was personally reminded of the depth of their impact when one of our very own, Jeremy Woodall, was recognized by the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) athletic department and inducted into the UAM Sports Hall of Fame for the Spirit Award.
Jeremy Woodall IS UAM and Monticello Arkansas. The son of Jerry and Waynette Woodall, Jeremy, endears himself among the community because of a very simple but very biblical philosophy. He loves God and loves people. Jeremy expressed a typical but true expression of his heart as he received his induction award. He stated, “I’m a little embarrassed to get a reward for doing what we are supposed to do.” I know him well enough to know that he truly was embarrassed.
Jeremy simply serves. He is the grill master for countless athletes between games, after games, or whenever those meals are needed. Coaches meet with him to talk to him about life, the sport they coach, or how to best connect with one of their athletes. Churches call him weekly to fill in as preacher, train their leaders, speak to the youth, or put together a group of student leaders to serve in a DiscipleNow weekend.
Students from all walks of life on campus come to the BCM worship services to hear him speak, be around him, or simply enjoy the fun of being one with other believers on the campus. There have been so many who have discovered their own personal relationship with Jesus because of the overflow of God’s love in Jeremy and his ministry leaders. Gospel conversations happen daily. People know that no matter your background, you can count on Jeremy to care about you.
Jeremy IS the epitome of our 100-year-old strategy for reaching collegians on the campus. He is present every day (and most nights) to not just give them the Gospel, but his very life! (1 Thess. 2:8) His life purpose and prayer is that through every encounter, those he serves recognize that Jesus’ lives through him. (Acts 4:13)
Congratulations, Jeremy, for your induction into the Weevils Hall of Fame. We are proud of you. Congratulations, Arkansas Baptists, for a strategy to reach collegians. It’s working!
You can watch Jeremy’s acceptance speech at the 1:20 mark of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50OON3BKBas
This article was written by Bruce Venable, College+Young Leaders Team Leader.