On June 11-13, approximately 500 current and former students of the Aggie Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) gathered together to celebrate the BSM’s 100th anniversary.
The event drew people from around the country to reflect and celebrate the impact that the Aggie BSM has had on generations of college students. The celebration, which was originally planned for 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Aggie BSM was founded at Texas A&M University in 1920 and was one of the first BSMs in Texas.
“It was a real celebration of God and what He’s done,” Joel Bratcher, director of the Aggie BSM, said. “It was a reminder of how powerful the college years are and how God can work and impact people’s lives and then use them for a lifetime. It was amazing to look around and hear all the stories and realize that God has used these people in such amazing ways and in so many different fields.”
The celebration kicked off on Friday night with a Coffeehouse, a BSM tradition that started in the 1990s as an outreach event during Howdy Week. The come-and-go gathering features live music performed by students and has been a popular tradition since its inception.
In addition to the live music, alumni were able to fellowship over coffee and desserts. Bratcher explained attendees were encouraged to reflect on their journeys since college.
“I think one of the real highlights for the people who came was being able to see friends and be reminded of ways that God worked in their lives during college. I think that was really faith-building for a lot of them,” Bratcher said.
Throughout the weekend five smaller gatherings were held for different BSM “eras.” These groups were pre-1973, Director Ron Wells, Director Mike Graham, Director Bob Mayfield and Bratcher.
On Saturday, the 100th Anniversary Celebration Lunch and Program was held in a local hotel ballroom. The program centered around remembering, rejoicing and reaching towards the future. Worship was led by Frank Aragon, an Aggie BSM alum, and the Upstream Band. They played a unique medley of worship songs that were popular from the 1960s through current times.
Sam Douglass, class of 1970, was the keynote speaker, and he spoke about looking forward to the future and reaching future generations of college students through the Aggie BSM.
Bratcher shared how the BSM plans on reaching the expanding Texas A&M University through the Next Century Endowment Fund. The fund will allow the BSM to provide more staff and ministry to the university, as well as the Rellis campus, Prairie View A&M University and the nearby Blinn College.
“As the population explodes here we really want God to use us,” he explained. “This fund celebrates the past 100 years and looks to the future.”
For more information about the Aggie BSM, go to aggiebsm.org.
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