Baptist and Reflector
FRANKLIN — Three researchers who have played various roles in the research and development of COVID-19 vaccines have a common thread — they were members of the Baptist Student Union (now Baptist Collegiate Ministry) at Vanderbilt University in Nashville while Bill Choate was BSU director at the university (see related story). Choate is now the BCM director for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
He remembers the three students — Buddy Creech, Josh Denny and Sheri Wilcox — well and has remained in contact with them over the years.
“What a blessing it is for campus ministers to be part of college students’ lives during their formative years,” said Choate. “Out of that time can come life-long friendships. Those relationships are really the greatest blessing of my personal investment in this ministry.”
The three Vanderbilt alumni shared how the BSU ministry, sponsored by the TBMB, played a role in their lives.
“Campus ministry was the foundation of my college experience. In those formative years, the BSU protected me from separating the secular and the sacred; it provided integration among all of life. This is essential as we think about how the gospel infuses everything we think, say, and do.” — Buddy Creech
“The BSU was the community and faith home in college for me and my wife. The BSU fostered an intellectually-curious, faith-filled, other-focused, non-compartmentalized view of life. It helped focus the lens through which I saw all the information I was studying. Plus, I formed lifelong friendships through the BSU. I am forever thankful for such a biblical, encouraging anchor in the middle of my college campus.” — Josh Denny
“I met my husband at BSU, so that’s pretty important. The BSU was essentially my home in college. It’s where I went for my strongest friendships, deep study with hard questions, missions opportunities to put my faith into action, and a lot of words of wisdom and growth. Those were foundational ‘adulting’ years, setting the stage for the rest of my life and I’m extremely grateful to have had such an incredible community.” — Sheri Wilcox