By July of 2019, the Tech Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) will have a new presence on the Texas Tech campus—a building that will in many ways serve as a cornerstone for the university. At 9 a.m. on October 20, more than 50 people celebrated as shovels broke ground for the new BSM building. The 9,100 sq-foot facility will be named the Robert Pinder Student Center after Dr. Pinder, a BSM supporter and former Tech professor. It will be located in the same location as the former building.
Over the past two-and-a-half years, almost $3.4 million have been raised through the work of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation and a fundraising committee in Lubbock.
“The new building will be a place where students can not only come and read the Bible and draw close to Christ, but also a catalyst out of which students can reach the Tech campus and really the world,” said Tech BSM Director Jeff Kennon. “And having a beautiful new building sends out a clear message that we take what we do very seriously and that we care about our students.”
Bruce McGowan, director of Collegiate Ministry said that at Tech, the opportunity to influence individuals, families, states, the nation and the world is exceptional.
“One of our favorite expressions at Tech is ‘Reach the campus, reach the world,’” McGowan said.
As diverse as the campus is, however, not many students are committed Christians. McGowan said that at Tech, the number of Christians who participate in any type of spiritual growth ministry is less than 10 percent.
“A lot of times, students might go to church when they are home, but when they go to college, they just hide in their dorm and don’t get any kind of Bible study or have any kind of accountability,” he said. “It doesn’t mean there’s not a spiritual hunger. It just means we’ve got to go out and find them.”
The building will be the place where a lot of the ministry will take place. A place where Christians can go to pray, fellowship, re-fuel and host outreach opportunities.
McGowan said the much-needed new building will have strategic meeting spaces and a beautiful new kitchen that will allow local Baptist churches to continue serving weekly meals at the BSM. These churches donated $100,000 that will be used for the construction of the kitchen space.
“The luncheons are an opportunity for students to hear the message of Christ in a non-threatening environment,” McGowan said. “Probably half of the group is not affiliated with Christianity. They just come to eat. So we have the opportunity to share the gospel.”
The kitchen will also be used for after-game snacks and fellowships, and to host meals for recent immigrants who want to come and learn English, hear the gospel and receive a copy of the Bible in their language.
McGowan anticipates that they will surpass their initial fundraising goal. Any overage will go towards the endowment for maintenance and upkeep of the building.