Baylor University conveys land to Texas Baptists for growing Baptist Student Ministry

by Texas Baptists Communications on April 22, 2024 in News

Baylor University conveyed to Texas Baptists the deed for a parcel of land set to house the new 12,000-square-foot Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) building in a ceremony held Thursday, April 18, in Waco, TX.

The property, over an acre in size, is located at the intersection of Daughtrey Avenue and 4th Street, directly adjacent to the university campus.

During the ceremony, which was hosted in the University’s Hurd Welcome Center, Baylor President Linda Livingstone and Texas Baptists Executive Director Julio Guarneri signed and exchanged documents to finalize the transfer of the future Baylor BSM site.

"What a significant milestone we reached,” Guarneri said. “This action demonstrates the administration's and the university's commitment to fostering the spiritual life of students on the Baylor campus and to a continued strong partnership between our two entities.”

“We are very grateful for this gift and believe it is an investment in the kingdom of God and in eternity,” he said. “We are committed to being good stewards of this trust.

In accordance with a 2023 agreement between the related institutions, the University agreed to convey the land to Texas Baptists once an initial fundraising threshold of $3 million was met.

Jerry Carlisle, president of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF), notified President Livingstone in March that the campaign milestone had been achieved. Upon notification, officials worked to finalize the transfer, which culminated in handshakes and smiles at the Thursday afternoon signing.

“Today begins an exciting chapter in the long relationship between Baylor University and the Baptist General Convention of Texas as Baylor officially conveys a parcel of land to the BGCT for construction of a new Baptist Student Ministries Building,” Livingstone said.

“The BSM center will provide another sacred space on our campus for Baylor students to grow spiritually, know God and make Him known globally,” she said. “It is an honor to join Dr. Julio Guarneri for this special ceremony that upholds Baylor’s Christian mission and distinct place in higher education and further strengthens Baylor’s historic ties to Texas Baptists.”

Mark Jones, director of the Center for Collegiate Ministry with Texas Baptists, attended the signing and spoke of the Baylor BSM’s emergence and the movement of God taking place on the University campus.

“Five years ago, Baylor and Texas Baptists reaffirmed the place of Baptist Student Ministry as having priority status as a student organization at Baylor,” Jones said. “BSM leadership, working with Baylor leaders as well as numerous pastors and volunteers from local churches, has seen a historic movement of God among Baylor students.”

Jones pointed to initiatives like FM72, a four-day prayer and worship experience on campus, and Pathway, a freshman-focused discipleship initiative, as examples of God’s movement.

“The momentum of this movement of God is having an immediate impact on the experience these students have at Baylor as well as a generational impact that will be seen for years to come,” he said. “A new building for the Baptist Student Ministry will be a vital place for training, worship and leadership collaboration."

The Missions Foundation, the group tasked with coordinating the fundraising effort for the expanding campus ministry, set the total cost of the capital campaign at $7 million. An additional $2 million is also being sought to provide an operating and maintenance endowment for the expanding campus ministry.

Carlisle, along with TBMF vice presidents Steve Massey and Eric Wyatt, also attended the signing. He expressed his appreciation to President Livingstone, Baylor University and the donors who helped realize the deed conveyance.

"The Missions Foundation is profoundly grateful for the generous donors who want to see a permanent platform for Texas Baptists to share the gospel on Baylor's campus,” Carlisle said.

“We look forward to gathering the remaining $4,000,000 in gifts for the construction of the building, as well as $2,000,000 to endow the operation of the building."

Will Bowden, director of the Baylor BSM, was also present for the ceremonial transfer. In January, Bowden gathered students and leaders to pray over the property and share the vision for the new facility.

The Baylor BSM is one of 137 campus ministries coordinated by Texas Baptists. Additional information about the Baylor BSM, including renderings of the new facility, is available at

To learn more and make a gift to support the campaign, visit the Baylor BSM website or contact the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation at missionsfoundation[at] or 214-828-5343.

Texas Baptists is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love by strengthening churches and ministers, engaging culture and connecting the nations to Jesus.

The ministry of the convention is made possible by giving through the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, Mary Hill Davis Offering® for Texas Missions, Texas Baptists Worldwide and Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Thank you for your faithful and generous support.

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