By Lonnie Wilkey
WAVERLY — Luke Love and Mary Rachel Gean are serving this semester as campus missionaries with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at the University of Tennessee-Martin. Both have a desire to continue in BCM work in the future.
Through the campus missionary program at UT-Martin, the two recent graduates are gaining valuable experience. The two campus missionaries led a team of BCM students from the school to help residents of Waverly continue clean up efforts following a massive flood last summer.
“Leading this mission trip was important to Luke and Mary Rachel,” observed Morgan Owen, BCM director. “It was also vital to me in their development as staff ministry leaders at the UTM BCM,” he added.
Owen explained that Tennessee BCMs have seen an advancement in the campus missionary program across the state through the leadership of Steve Roper, retired BCM director at University of Tennessee Chattanooga. “I’m thankful for Steve’s leadership in our work with campus missionaries. He has been able to pull together the different approaches across the state BCMs to build consistency and cohesiveness for the future,” Owen stated.
For Love, it was his first mission trip. “I never had the opportunity to go on a trip as a student,” he said. “It has been awesome.”
Love noted he saw the team in Waverly grow spiritually through their experience in early January.
Love’s immediate plans are to attend seminary and later become a BCM director “if the Lord is willing,” he said.
“I was saved through BCM as a freshman. Baptist Collegiate Ministry means everything to me,” he affirmed.
Gean shares Love’s passion for Baptist Collegiate Ministry. Her personal experience in BCM led her to accept the internship when it opened.
“I wanted to give back to the BCM because of how it impacted by life,” she said, crediting her spiritual growth to the influence of the BCM ministry at UT-Martin.
Gean, too, noted that she would like to continue her work in the future with a BCM if opportunities arise. She noted she learned a lot from the mission trip to Waverly:
“It has been a trip of hidden blessings,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect, but she especially enjoyed the opportunity to work with and relate to senior adult DR volunteers. “It was a blessing to meet our senior adult leaders,” she said. “They are examples of following the Lord and serving Him.”
Owen is grateful to Tennessee Baptists because their gifts enable students like Love and Gean to use their gifts for the Lord. “Their experience with the BCM and leadership opportunities are largely due to the support we receive from the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions,” the BCM leader said. B&R