The fall semester of 2020 at Murray State College, a two-year school in Tishomingo, was “challenging, in a good way,” said Drake Bendabout who was in his first year as director of Murray State’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM). It also was his first semester as an online student at Southwestern Seminary.
Murray State has its share of both commuter and on-campus students. It was small enough that onsite classes were allowed, but extracurricular activities were limited.
Baptist Collegiate Ministries has a building across the road from Murray State’s campus. That’s where BCM Tuesday Night worship times took place, as well as Wednesday Noondays. Local churches rotate to bring a midday meal.
Another BCM weekly activity during the fall semester was a ladies Bible study led by Katie Bendabout, Drake’s wife of nearly five years (Both pictured above). “She’s an amazing partner in ministry,” the BCM director said.
Because campus interaction was limited, Bendabout took BCM students to help in local short-term mission projects off-campus. At the Baptist Home for Girls, the students cleaned and arranged storage areas, while the female students “got to interact with the girls there, talk about life and the Lord,” the BCM director said.
Later the female students returned to help paint Christmas lawn ornaments. The BCM students lodged at Lake Texoma Baptist Resort Ministry during a mission project where they did maintenance and clean-up work, including sprucing up walking trails.
The BCM also helped a church pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
“The Lord got me through this first semester and a new chapter in my life,” Bendabout said. Bendabout, who graduated in 2018 from Rogers State University in Claremore, credits Shannon Cross, his BCM director there, with helping clarify and refine his call to collegiate ministry.
“BCM ministry changes lives,” Bendabout said. “I don’t know where I’d be without the friends I made, the mentors I had, the discipleship I had. It all helped me grow spiritually.”
Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together.
Drake Bendabout was featured in the 2021 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see BCM Director Bendabout’s prayer requests, visit oklahomabaptists.org/cp