Loud praises to Jesus and the Gospel rang out from an auditorium on the campus of Francis Marion University. It was all part of a Baptist Collegiate Ministry effort called God Belongs on My Campus. This effort began in 2016 when a small Bible study group of college guys decided to take their love for Christ & passion for making Him known from their small group to the entire campus of FMU. At the time, the group noticed a lack of excitement for the Lord, especially among African American men on campus. Their group grew as men started following Christ, getting baptized, and discipling one another through accountability, prayer, and studying the Word together. Within a short time, the idea birthed from this small group became a movement on campus.
On February 22, the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) at Francis Marion University hosted its 5th on-campus event of God Belongs on My Campus. Lee Clamp of the SCBC was the speaker for the evening, while music was led by Monet Heyward (alumni of FMU BCM) & the Francis Marion gospel choir. One of the founders of GBOMC, Rischard Brown, performed spoken word to kick off the night.
In the weeks leading up to the event, students were given prayer journals to plead with God for the event and salvation for the students they know on campus who are lost. Each Thursday morning, students gathered at the BCM building before class to pray together. The BCM student leaders also met outside the auditorium the night before the event to pray over all those who would be invited and those who would attend.
Prior to February 22nd’s event, students used car paint on windows and posters for their dorm and apartment windows to shower the campus with invites and create buzz. Flyers were placed on every campus activity board. Students went door to door to invite students in apartments and dorms with postcards that were created for the night. ON the day of the event, BCM students set up outreach tables on 2 heavily trafficked areas on campus and gave away prepackaged cookies and invite cards to everyone. Through an evangelism grant, BCM was able to purchase t-shirts with the God Belongs on My Campus logo to give away to over 200 students who attended the event.
This year, over 150 students attended the event and 18 students made decisions to follow Christ during the night! Student leaders and staff had conversations with many of these students and have followed up to help them take their next steps in the discipleship process. Over the course of 5 years, more than 100 students have made decisions to follow Christ at God Belongs on My Campus events.
As BCM staff started planning the night, the goal was to be strategic in who would lead the night and strategic in promotion. One part of this strategy came through inviting the gospel choir to perform. Many of the students in the choir have a love of singing but do not have a personal relationship with Christ. Inviting this group allowed BCM to partner with another student organization but also bring students who may be far from God and introduce them to the Him. BCM roped a special section of the auditorium for the choir to sit so they would feel welcome and stay after their performance.
While BCM staff have provided leadership and resources, it has been the ownership of the students to invite their friends and neighbors that has made a significant difference. Jonathan Kyler, a FMU junior from Cheraw is grateful for BCM and the God Belongs on My Campus initiative. He shares, “it is a community of students making sure that the Gospel is shared on our campus.”
Savannah Bird, FMU freshman from Florence, shared “God Belongs on my Campus meant so much to me for many reasons. The main reason being that I was able to see such a large amount of college students worship and hear the gospel together. In the world we live in, it is rare to see outward expressions of worship, especially on a college campus. I thoroughly enjoyed the message, but the worship was definitely my favorite part. It gave me hope for my fellow college students and their walk with Christ. It showed me that there are others who love God and want to glorify Him.
God does belong on each of the 60+ college and university campuses in SC. Continue to pray for Kendal Danford, FMU BCM Director and his staff as they partner with local churches to connect more students with the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ.