Plan for future: Attend the Communication Disorders Graduate Program at EKU
Favorite BCM memory or story: Playing Ultimate Ping Pong with everyone after Amplify and TND!
Best decision made in college: To get plugged in at the BCM and become a part of a Christian Community!
Advice to students: Don’t procrastinate, find a support system, and never give up on your goals.
Encouragement: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
Plans: My plans are to start my own video game studio and work as an adjunct professor at EKU
Favorite BCM or story: My favorite memory is doing Beach Reach every year. It was great, not just to serve with no distractions of the usual daily grind, but to do so with my college family. Beach Reach helped me grow as a Christian and as a Leader. It was after doing Beach Reach that God called me to serve on the BCM Leadership team. Beach Reach was the gateway to ministry for me at college. Had I not gone I wouldn’t have been as involved as I was. During each of the proceeding Beach Reaches or Spring Break mission trips, I was able to pour into those who were not only new to the ministry but also to encourage them to continue to endure and to witness even when no one is receptive. To see those same students again the following year overcome and grow from the previous one was truly amazing.
Best decision made in College: My best decision I made in college was to be involved with the student groups. It was at these groups that I found my friends and mentors. Through them I not only grew but have made memories that I will cherish forever. Also met my fiancé here, too.
Advice to students: My advice is to be involved with a campus ministry while at college. Yes, as students our main job is studying and getting our degree, but if that is all that you focus on, you will miss out on so much. Many opportunities and relationships are found and made when you take a break away from school. Ecclesiastes 12:12 says this, “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” There will always be something new to learn and study, but not always the opportunity of being in an environment where people truly care for you and pray over you. Being a part of the BCM and its ministry is something that I wouldn’t trade the world for. It’s this ministry that showed me areas of my life that I struggled with greatly. I learned what it means to be a godly man and how to trust God even when I was shrouded with the fear, stress, and anxiety of what the future held.
Encouragement: Please, join a college ministry and please join a local church. Without them, your walk with Christ will come to halt and the temptations of this world will be too much to bear and resist.
My plan for the future: Apply and get a teaching job by Fall of 2020, within the next 5 - 7 years get my MAEd online with EKU in Literacy P-12.
Favorite BCM memory or story: Pancake night can be both awkward and extremely rewarding! In my Sophomore year, I was on the leadership team. Johna Howdyshell - our then President - told me to go talk to people I did not know and welcome them to the BCM. Little did I know that the first person I saw would be Emylie Mills, my current girlfriend. I don't normally introduce myself to anyone - I have always considered myself to be an introvert, so this was definitely a challenge to overcome. I met one of my good friends, Zac Salyer at the BCM in this same way. He still credits me as the first person who talked to him at the BCM
Best decision made in college: I can't really identify one event as the clear winner for this category, so I pick two: joining the BCM leadership team and becoming a member of the EKU chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity of America. I made both of these decisions in my Freshman year when I was most vulnerable to spiritual attack and psychological discouragement. These have been the best decisions for two completely different reasons. Joining Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia was less of a choice of my own and more of a succumbing to positive peer-pressure from some older members of EKU Choirs. These men had a stronger passion for music than I had ever seen before, and they are all phenomenal performers. Plus, they had known my sister for two years in EKU Choirs and seemed to revel in the fact that I might be included in their Fraternity. I had never been the recipient of such positive encouragement from fellow boys/men before, without that encouragement being a cruel joke, so I gladly joined. And I was not disappointed with the result. Outside of the BCM, I have laughed more than I think in my entire life prior to joining Phi Mu Alpha. I have sung more freely and with more passionate ability with fellow Sinfonians than ever before. And this singing experience has helped me become a better worshiper in BCM and church services. I have not wasted the gift God gave me, but have used it to glorify Him at the BCM and at church. I am not afraid of my own voice being heard and I don't care anymore if I'm sick and my voice sounds thin and frail. All I know is that my singing voice is to glorify God, and my voice has developed through EKU Choirs and Phi Mu Alpha to far better tone and musicality than I had been capable of in high school.
Joining the BCM Leadership team not only allowed me to get to know the people at the BCM better, but also helped develop my capacity for leadership. The connections I have made at the BCM will follow me through the rest of my life. Some of my best friends have been made at the BCM. I can't claim the same from Phi Mu Alpha. I know that my fellow Sinfonians are funny and brilliant musicians, and some of them are Christians, but we don't share the foundational love of Christ. Their lives are not built on the promises of God, but rather are shaped by their own efforts in pursuit of musical excellence. They seek fulfillment in their own musical ability and are constantly comparing themselves to those who are better than them. I know that I am fulfilled in Christ and my identity is in Him. That is why I can have joy at all times, even when things don't go according to plan or even when I hit a wrong note. I seek to glorify my creator by singing, and I know he is most glorified when I enjoy singing to Him. There is pleasure in success and still joy in failure. This is a lesson that I am still learning today.
Advice to younger students: God is perfect. God is faithful. Here is my advice: Given that God is both perfect and faithful, can we not assume that God is perfectly faithful? Can we not assume that God will perfectly love you, no matter what? To my Christian brothers and sisters, understand one thing: John 3:16-17 is without condition: "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him." These two verses outline Jesus' mission and vision for the world, which He received from His Father, God. Jesus later gives us this same mission and vision: that we love the people living in the world so much, that we give up our lives to turn them to Jesus, "in order that the world might be saved through him." So in whatever you do, know that God will fulfill his mission and vision because he is perfectly able and faithful to complete the job. Your task, as a follower of Jesus, is outlined in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Encouragement: You are so gifted and talented! Use your gifts and talents to glorify God! You are in college for a reason. You are friends with who you are friends with for a reason. You have met and will meet the people that God wants you to. His will is good and perfectly planned for you. Jeremiah 29:11 is often quoted out of context for high school and college graduates across the nation, but let me tell you what it was talking about. God was reassuring the Israelites who he had just sent into exile in Babylon - one of the most debase and wholly evil empires the world has ever seen - that he would visit them after their 70-year exile from their promised land (vs. 10) and "bring you back to this place." For the Israelites it was literal. For us, it is metaphorically literal. Our promise is to be taken to heaven when we die and have eternal life with God, for his glory. The world we live in plays by the rules of Babylon, the rules of twisted, evil logic, buried in sin and confused by anything they deem to be unmeasurable (Eph. 6:12). We are to live in this world but to play by God's rules because his way is good, clear, and righteous (Psalm 36:5-10). His way makes sense to the one who can put their faith in Jesus. God's way is for us. I encourage you to read Jeremiah 29:11 in the full context of verses 4-14. We are to live in this world but not to be of the world. And don't worry about what non-Christians say about you or do to you - just be faithful because God will reward your faithfulness, not in this world, but in the next. John 15:18-27 is my final encouragement, straight from Jesus' lips.
Plan for future: I plan to attend EKU for graduate school to receive a masters degree in speech pathology.
Favorite BCM memory: Hanging out with my family group and having game nights.
Best decision made in college: Reaching out to my resources during stressful times. From classmates, to professors, to friends, everyone wants to help you succeed and make the most out of your college experience.
Advice to students: Get involved in some type of organization that fits you best and meet new people.
Encouragement: Encourage yourself, believe in yourself and love yourself. You will get through it!
Future Plans: I plan to teach elementary school music, and eventually go to grad school for higher education and help teachers become better teachers!
Favorite BCM Memory: My favorite memory of the BCM was a February TNL. I normally worked sound/tech stuff for TNL, but they called me up on stage at the end of the show to "thank those involved." It turned out they had planned to sing happy birthday to me! I was extremely embarrassed because I like to stay in the background, but the gesture and genuine kindness from BCMers to me was very much appreciated.
Best College Decision: The best decision I made in college was participating all four years in Marching Band. It was hard to lead and be a Squad Leader then Section Leader the following year, but getting to know the younger students and investing in them made me feel like I left an impact on the future Marching Colonel Sousaphone section!
Advice to Students: Invest in an activity or organization with your whole heart! What you pursue and pour into, and how much you pour in, will directly relate to how much you get out of it. Choose one or two things you are so passionate about, and give them all you've got!
Encouragement: There will be times when you feel overwhelmed and too busy for God. That's completely normal! Getting a degree takes so much work and time, so you will have to fight for your relationship with the Lord. He is always there, ready to talk and listen to you! Don't feel bad when those tough times come, because they are products of an enemy who thinks he can get between you and God. Fight back, and feel empowered to do so because you know Whose you are. He is a God who does not lose!
Plan for future: Will begin studying in EKU’s counseling program in the Fall
Favorite BCM memory or story: James and John invading TNL to sing Bohemian Rhapsody
Best decision made in college: Giving my life to Jesus!
Advice to students: Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable or to leave your comfort zone.
Encouragement: College can be a very intimidating place for classes and the social climate. But if you trust in the Lord to guide your steps, He will provide the peace and comfort you need. He also knows what’s best for you, which can lead to some pretty amazing surprises!
Plans: Work at TRB Lightweight Structures and move into an engineering position and get married in June.
Advice: Follow God closely and know God as personally as you can. The result will be contentment no matter the situation.
Encouragement: The EKU BCM has grown so much in my time there. I have loved every second of doing ministry with those I met there. I can't wait to see what God will do through the rising classes now.
Plan for future: I plan to start my career as an educator in Madison or Fayette Co.
Favorite BCM memory or story: I have spent the past 4 years of my life at this place that feels like home now. There are so many stories and memories that come to mind, but one of my favorites happened within the first few months I was at EKU. I was getting ready to leave for my first Converge Conference and there were only 2 cars left at the BCM. I was supposed to get in a car with some girls I had met and become friends with, but their car ended up being full. The only car left was a minivan with 4 dudes I had never really met before. And so, that’s where I ended up. We were also going to Crossings at J Creek, so it was a haul!! A few hours into the trip we decided to tell everyone that was going on the trip with us that we ended up in Nashville and was wondering if anyone else had passed through yet. (That is definitely not the right direction). We had everyone tricked except for Jeff Prosser who called very concerned, and we couldn’t lie to him. That trip included so many more adventures, like a bird flying around inside the Taco Bell we stopped at, us almost running out of gas and cutting someone off to get into the gas station, and 4 dudes who became like brothers to me. I will never forget that trip, and that minivan we named the Swag Wagon.
Best decision made in college: Spending my summers for the gospel. Not many careers have the opportunity to have extended time off like you have during summer break. Use your breaks to go to the nations, work summer camps, go across the country and serve somewhere, intern at a church. There are so many opportunities that are so unique for college students. It is likely you will never have time like this again!
Advice to students: Find community at the BCM, but even more so, find a local church and invest in it. I am at the point where I am feeling the whole “you can’t major in the BCM” saying. Let me tell you, it’s true. The B has been monumental in my walk with Christ, but it eventually comes to an end. I am so thankful for my local church that has become like family now. So many students leave college and lose their sense of community. That won’t happen if you invest and serve in a local church.
Encouragement: These are some of the best years of your life. You will make lifelong friends during your time at EKU. Honor God through your school work, but take the trip to Lexington at midnight to get burgers. And take a quick beach trip with your best friends before you all have jobs and are crazy busy. And hike the pinnacles for the sunrise to get your mind off finals, even if it’s 13 degrees outside...if you know, you know, haha. When you tell your kids stories about college, it’s probably not going to be the hours you spent studying in the library, but the late night and crazy fun adventures you had with the friends who became family. It’s not normal what the Lord is doing here at EKU. I can’t believe the community I have found, that will last the rest of my life.
Plan for the Future: Wait for COVID restrictions to start lifting and find an animal care job.
BCM story: Going hiking this past fall. We came down from Indian Fort with the Wilson bros leading. After they got us lost three times I decided to step up and take the lead, effectively getting us back to the parking lot in one try.
Best Decision: Saying yes to Tristan Colpitts, now Schemanski, when she asked me to go to freshman bible study at the BCM.
Advice: Although college may be stressful and you don't seem like you have time for following your faith, always put God first. He will bless you immensely.
Encouragement: As the wise Dumbledore said, "it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." You have a dream to be a college graduate, but you should also realize you're young now. College has so many opportunities. Seize them and make your life extraordinary. Have fun, go rock climbing at the Rec, hang out with friends. You can graduate...
Plan for future: Apply for Physician Assistant and Pharmacy school programs
Favorite BCM memory or story: It is hard to pick just one so I’m gonna say acting in TNL, converge, and all the fun times in the Tech booth.
Best decision made in college: Coming to the BCM.
Advice to students: College is hard, but never give up. Stay strong in your faith and surround yourself with a community that will support and encourage you.
Encouragement: I know the BCM and the new leadership team is going to continue to do great things. I can’t wait to come back and visit and see what God will do through you all. I’ve made so many great friends and had so many great experiences during my time at the BCM and I am very thankful.
Plan for the future: Running my own private studio wherever God leads me. Maybe some blogging too.
Favorite BCM memory or story: Gosh, there are so many to choose from…I met my boyfriend at pancake night in August 2017, so that is my favorite memory. I also really enjoyed the scavenger hunt during the 2018-19 BCM leadership retreat. It was so much fun and I was laughing at least half the time.
Best decision made in college: Going to the BCM. It has strengthened and stretched me and been a source of peace and encouragement during my time here at EKU. I also developed friendships and relationships with some amazing and awesome people.
Advice to students: Always seek to build relationships. Even if you are leaving in a year, build that relationship, because you never know how God may use that.
Encouragement: Your grades do not define you; Christ defines you!
Future Plans: Honestly, there’s a lot up in the air right now. I decided to apply for MAT programs a couple of weeks ago, which was never something I had considered before but I’m excited to see what God has in store for me!
Favorite BCM memory or story: Obviously, anything and everything TNL. Here are a few highlights and this is by no means an entire list:
Advice to students: Get out of your comfort zone. I know that might sound cliché or obvious, but you don’t know how much God can use you until you take the first step. If you have a feeling that there is something you should probably be doing, if there’s someone you think you should reach out to, or if you feel God pulling you in a new direction, just listen. It will not necessarily be easy, but it will be worth it.
Encouragement: God is good and God is faithful, even when we are not. That has in some ways always been a theme in my life. I tend to get too stuck in my ways, too stuck in my planning and scheduling and lists and routines. I can sometimes push God into an item on my to-do list. But He is so patient with us when we do that, and He is good to pursue us and pull us back to Him. Of all the things that I learned the most about God the past few years, it has been His faithfulness and His goodness. God is good and God is faithful, and we can find peace through that, no matter what the world throws at us.
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor ruler, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Plans: teaching piano
Favorite BCM memory: Helping with the pancake night
Best college decision: Starting discipleship
Advice to students: Keep going, even when you want to quit. Don't worry about the GPA as much, just do your best.
Encouragement: Even though college seems to take FOREVER, it goes faster then one may think, so cherish the time while you have it.
Plans for future: In the fall, I will attend University of Kentucky’s College of Pharmacy, as well as take on the role of a Campus Ministry Intern here at the EKU BCM.
Favorite BCM memory: Late night worship jam sessions with Lil K, Faith, and Cassie.
Best decision made in college: Serving at the B has to be the best thing that has come from my college experience by far. This ministry has grown me in my faith immensely just through the community it has connected me with. From serving at the BCM, I have been able to meet and grow with some of the most genuine and loving people I have ever met, and it has also led me to meet some of my best friends.
Advice to students: College, like life, is hard, but it is definitely harder when you are facing it alone, so my advice would be to plug into a community that challenges you and helps you grow in your walk with Christ. The BCM has given me a community that encourages me to pursue Christ, especially when I am in seasons that seem relentless. My family at the B has always been the ones to show me the good and the growth that is coming with each passing and current season of my life.
Encouragement: My encouragement would have to be, figure out who you are in Christ and grow from there. Through Him you are many things, but I will start you off with two: Through Christ you are known and you are so loved. So much of society encourages and expects you to portray yourself as perfect, independent, composed, etc, even when it means faking it. You are not going to have it altogether all of the time, that is okay nobody does, but you also do not need pressure yourself into faking it as if you do. You are allowed to fall short, and even those who you compare yourself to fall short, it just rarely makes the high-light reel (Romans 3:23-24). So learn to leave the facades and comparisons behind while you learn to anchor your identity in Christ, and everything else will work itself out.