LUBBOCK—On Saturday, Oct. 19, more than 200 individuals gathered to celebrate the new Dr. Robert H. Pinder Student Center, home of the Texas Tech University Baptist Student Ministry (BSM). The service was a time of dedication to the glory of God and a celebration of those who have gone before.
The ministry, which began in 1927 on the Tech campus, has impacted thousands of lives. Through the new facility, the BSM is equipped to continue a legacy of the BSM’s mission of “Reaching Raiders. Reaching the world.”
Mark Jones, Texas Baptists State BSM director, welcomed those in attendance to a time of celebration and anticipation. Jones noted the dedication coincided with the 100th anniversary of Baptist Student work in Texas, which began in 1919.
“This is a time of celebration and anticipation because God is not done. We anticipate what God is going to do because He is at work growing leaders,” Jones said.
The Capital Campaign Advisory Team worked through the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation to raise $3.9 million to completely fund the building and create an endowment to support the BSM in the future. The team was led by Larry Landusky, and included Jerry Ashcraft, Joyce Ashcraft, Jerry Joplin, D.L. Lowrie, Bruce McGowan, Pinder, Don Schroeder and David Wilson.
Pinder, who gave the lead gift for the building, served as a professor at Texas Tech for 23 years and is also a former pastor and missionary. During his remarks, Pinder said, “this building is a vehicle for ministry to tell people about Jesus and to reach students for Jesus for generations to come.”
Many Tech alumni, former BSM staff, donors and students were recognized during the ceremony for their involvement in the ministry. Daniel Chamberlain, the building architect, and Lee Lewis Construction, Inc. were also recognized for their work on the building. The event took place during Tech’s Homecoming weekend, prior to the football game against Iowa State University.
Reaching a campus in need of Jesus’ love
BSM director Jeff Kennon shared about the current BSM impact on the campus of 38,800 students. During Raider Welcome Week this fall, the BSM reached out to 4,000 students. Each week, the BSM reaches between 400 and 600 Tech students through various outreach and evangelism ministries, Bible studies and free lunches. The night before the dedication, many students also served at “Pancakes on Broadway,” an event hosted on the evenings before all home football games where BSM students serve pancakes to 150-200 fellow students as an outreach tool.
Kennon shared about meeting up to read the Bible with a student the day before who had been seeking to know more about Jesus. During their Bible reading, they talked about John 3:16 and the student shared it had been years since he had heard that passage.
The same verse is printed in a large world map mural on the floor of the BSM’s entrance. Kennon shared how the goal of the BSM was to show students from around the world about Christ’s love for them.
“Because of your generosity, I’m praying more students will hear about John 3:16,” Kennon said. “Thank you for making that happen!”
McGowan, former director of Texas Baptists Collegiate Ministry, said the Tech BSM fundraising campaign was the most intentional and effective campaign in which he had participated. He took time to thank the local churches and Lubbock Area Baptist Association (LABA) for their ongoing support of the BSM, alongside many individuals and Texas Baptists. LABA raised the money to provide the kitchen in the new BSM building.
Joplin, director of LABA, led the dedication prayer for the new building. At the conclusion of the service, Landusky led the audience in singing “To God be the Glory.”