EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an expanded article based on the 2020 Cooperative Program Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. For more information, please visit www.oklahomabaptists.org/cp.
Langston University’s collegiate ministries started in 1964. Bertholomew “Prophet” Bailey has been Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) director at Langston since August 2018.
“It’s a renovated process,” Bailey said. “Our building is owned by National Baptists, and Oklahoma Baptists helped build it in the 1970s and helped renovate it in the 1990s.”
Langston is Oklahoma’s only historically Black college. It’s in one of the remaining 13 (out of more than 50) Oklahoma towns established as Black communities, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society, and Langston today is still more than 93 percent Black.
About 18 students at Langston U attend weekly small group Bible studies on Mondays. Between 60 and 80 gather for Wednesday noonday lunch and devotion prepared and provided by churches near Langston, 10 miles northeast of Guthrie.
Bailey, who meets students as he wanders around campus and jogs with track athletes, has a five-faceted strategy: plant, water, grow, reap, repeat. The BCM has grown to 35 active members, and all five student leaders have identified and are discipling their “one.”
“And they are growing as well,” Bailey said. “Disciples are handmade, one at a time.”
Langston is unique among Oklahoma universities in that 70 percent of the student body are the first in their family to attend college, according to the university. Lack of employment is another challenge in a town of 2,000 that has a student body of 1,800.
Churches and church women’s groups continually restock a “huge pantry” with paper products, toiletries, “survival kits,” Walmart gift cards and “every bit helps,” the BCM director said. “They really enjoy helping students. I believe it’s the love of Christ in them that pours into students.”
Bailey and his wife Nikol parent three youngsters. “Just having kids, they bring joy into your life,” the BCM director said. “It’s a great way to be able to relax and rewind.”
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. Learn more at www.oklahomabaptists.org/CP