The emphasis on prayer within the South Carolina Baptist Convention’s Baptist Collegiate Ministries is obvious. Leaders and students alike affirm the vital and significant role of prayer in this ministry that reaches college students across the state.
BCM recently sponsored prayer walks on 15 campuses across South Carolina as students moved back to campus and started classes.
Chad Stillwell, state Collegiate Ministries director for the SCBC, said, “Churches from across the state (over 22) have stepped up and sent teams to prayer walk, prayer drive, and even prayer exercise on campuses.”
He emphasized the need for prayer if we hope to see “awakening and revival on our college campuses.” There are approximately 275,000 college students in South Carolina.
Stillwell pointed out that “the vast majority have no relationship with Jesus.” The 18-25 age group, he said, is a critical time when many students make major life decisions that determine whether they will follow God’s plan for their lives.
John Blankenship, Winthrop University BCM director, said, “We know that God delights to answer the prayers of His people, and we know that without a movement of His Spirit, we can do nothing of eternal significance.”
J.R. Stanley, a Clemson University student, said, “Prior to my senior year, I was living a very cultural and comfortable Christian life. I had a few good friends who practiced vulnerability with me and poured into my life. I saw what meaningful, God-honoring relationships with other believers really looked like, but I still wasn’t living in step with Jesus.”
Following a BCM GenSend promotion on a Thursday, he spent two months working on what to do. He committed himself to go on a GenSend mission to Denver, Colo. “GenSend was like a wake-up call for me. It was the most transformative and renewing period in my life. Now I’m trying to take what I learned and apply it to the rest of my life and live on purpose for God and people,” he said.
A’Myah Ross said that the Spartanburg BCM “has become a place of understanding, somewhere my worship can be given, praises can be lifted, and throughout this community the gospel can be spread to the campus. I am so thankful for my BCM family.”
Stillwell pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic “was very difficult for our BCM and church collegiate ministries to meet and engage new freshmen last year. We have sophomores who did not actually attend college on campus during their first year. So this fall will be our first opportunity to meet them and engage them with the gospel.”
David Neace, Coastal Carolina University BCM director, said, “We are praying for a movement of God this year at CCU as we seek to engage not only the largest freshman class in school history, but also students who were not involved last year because of COVID restrictions. Prayer is a vital part of the CCU’s BCM.” Neace continued, “We are asking God to do what only He can do to see students respond to the gospel and have their lives changed forever.”
Jamie Rogers, University of South Carolina BCM director, stated, “Here at the largest university in our state, we see thousands of students in desperate need of the gospel. We believe we will only see a dramatic move of the Spirit on our campus as believers from across our state pray. That is why we are rallying local churches to join us to saturate every corner of our campus in prayer.”
Stillwell asks South Carolina Baptists, “Will you pray for the 275,000 college students in South Carolina and the 21 million in North America?”