Bluefield University is celebrating the recent baptisms of eight individuals. These public professions of faith took place on February 19 during Elevate, a weekly worship service hosted by Bluefield University Student Ministries (BUSM), each Sunday night during the academic year.
“Faith formation is an important part of the student experience at Bluefield University,” said campus pastor Mason West. “Our mission states we are a Christ-centered learning community developing servant leaders to transform the world. We create that environment with engaging Campus Ministries programming, meaningful connections between students and with faculty/staff, and intentional conversations with students.”
Bluefield University’s Campus Ministries team began advertising its “Deeper Revival Nights” series on January 25 for meeting dates in February, as part of the ongoing work of Campus Ministries. This while being unaware of events to come at other faith-based institutions. Revivals led by students on college campuses are drawing national attention against the backdrop of dialogue on changing faith practices of various generations in America.
Team members invited campus community members and the local community to attend the event to “go even deeper in worship and the word with each other.” Revival meetings were held on February 6, 10, and 12 in Harman Chapel on the campus of Bluefield University. Following the services, a baptism service was scheduled for the upcoming Elevate service. After hearing a message from Luke 12 by West, three students came forward for baptism as planned. However, the service continued when five other individuals, including students and members of the local community, stepped forward to be baptized.
Courtney Frame, a freshman majoring in criminal justice, was the third individual to be baptized that evening. Frame enrolled at Bluefield University seeking answers around God and faith after experiencing mental and physical pain due to a relationship with a loved one.
“Between going to chapel, Elevate, and Roots (discipleship) meetings, I have realized that giving my life to God and letting Him take care of my hurt is what I have needed to do all along,” Frame said.
Michaela Rose, a nursing major, was the sixth individual baptized in the service. She shared that she “ran from God” after the passing of her grandmother nearly a year ago, but recently decided to “begin a new life with Christ, put Him first, and seek Him more.”
“When I transferred back home from Virginia Tech and started attending Bluefield University, my eyes were opened by all the young adults my age following Jesus. I decided it was time to start/continue my walk with God. Having people my age who have the heart and desire for Jesus helped lead me in the right direction,” said Rose.
Alyssa Mangino, a psychology and human services major, came forward after Rose. Also struggling with the loss of her grandmother in addition to her grandfather’s diagnosis with lung cancer, she shared it took her a while to see God was with her, putting her “broken pieces back together.” She recently began attending Elevate with a friend a few weeks ago and has faithfully attended since.
“I decided to get baptized the other night because I wanted to give my all to God. I wanted to change my life for the better, and by doing that I wanted to have Him by my side!” Mangino said.
Aiden Morgan, a student at nearby New River Community College, began coming to Elevate to support his girlfriend, worship team member Grace Trent. Throughout this relationship, he shared, he has learned more about God and drawn closer to Christ.
“BU’s Campus Pastor, Mason West, has taught me so much through praying for me and has become a great friend to me whom I admire,” Morgan said. “I had made the decision at church a week earlier and wanted to be baptized. I did not plan to be baptized at the service but felt called to. I want to put God first and know Him for the rest of my life.”
Others taking part in the sacrament and making a public profession of their Christian faith during the service included: Bobby Burnette, Josephine Root, Isabella McComas, and Caleb Christian.
“Our Rams Family is committed to the discipleship and spiritual growth of these new believers,” said university president David Olive. “It is our hope that now that they have committed to Christ that they will be His hands and feet in this world transforming it to be on Earth as it is in Heaven.”