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College student’s faith kindled through Baptist Student Union

CONWAY, S.C. (BP)–When Bryan Fields left Pennsylvania for college about four years ago, the move was more than just a geographical relocation. It set his life in a new direction — eternally.
A friend invited Bryan to a Baptist Student Union meeting shortly after he arrived at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C.
“What I found at BSU was people who were having fun as Christians,” Bryan says. “I had never stepped foot in a church before,” he adds. “As I became more involved in BSU, I wanted to learn more about Christianity.”
The friend also invited him to attend church. The Coastal Carolina BSU group and Sweetwater Branch Baptist Church “worked hand in hand” to lead Bryan to Christ. “I learned to love people through BSU; through the church, I was given a basic foundation in the Bible,” Bryan says.
Now Bryan is committed to sharing his faith with others. “God has given me a passion for lost people — especially college students — to go get them and bring them to Jesus,” he says.
He is attempting to share his faith with his parents, who are former Jehovah Witnesses. “God has recently blessed me with an opportunity to witness to them in a small way. I’m really excited about that,” he says.
At Coastal Carolina, Bryan has helped the BSU group grow from three to more than 45 active members. As president this past year, he helped organize a fall meal with a Christian band that drew about 200 people, hosted a Christian coffeehouse and planned a scavenger hunt and pizza evening at a shopping mall. He is also a member of the creative worship and drama team.
“He’s meant steady leadership; he’s dependable, enthusiastic and creative,” says Terry Rayl, BSU director, noting that the student organization is now the largest on campus.
Bryan is also active on the state BSU level, serving as president. He revived the newsletter, The Signal, sending the publication to about 40 BSU leaders.
“Bryan has a genuine passion for the cause of Christ on college campuses,” says Ken Owens, associate in the South Carolina Baptist Convention’s campus ministry department. “His focus on outreach and growth has spread to leaders on other campuses. God has used BSU to touch Bryan’s life, but now God is using Bryan to touch BSUers in a positive way.”
A recent graduate with a psychology degree, Bryan is continuing his studies in religion and plans to attend seminary, with hopes of working in campus ministry. “But we’ll see where God leads,” he allows.
“I would not be the person I am if it were not for Baptist Student Union,” Bryan says. “BSU has strengthened and encouraged my faith. It’s where I found my friends for life, a devotional time and prayer partners. It helped me reach my goals as a Christian.
“The biggest thing that Christ has done for me is, he’s given me the ability to see people and love them where they are — not to judge them, but to really talk to them. And even to go a little further, to tell them about him,” Bryan shares.
“For others, it can do these things and a lot more,” he notes. “As a freshman, you need other Christians to be around. If you’re not a Christian, you need a group like this to introduce Jesus in a way you can understand.”

    About the Author

  • Todd Deaton