Brandon and Paula Brister were married 19 years when by choice she gave birth to the first of their two children, now 6 and 1. He’s the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) director at the University of Tulsa and team leader for the other two BCM directors in Metro Tulsa, Kyle Thomas and Riley Sowell. She’s a registered and licensed dietician. They are members at Tulsa, South Tulsa where they participate in the FIT–Families in Training–Class, one of three small groups for families with young children.
“Our goal this year is (to have) about 400 students in meaningful engagement,” Brister said of the University of Tulsa campus, which has about 3,800 students. “In a typical year that wouldn’t be hard to do, but our university has limited our gathering to 10 or fewer (students and leaders). In a year when student availability is low, we’ve chosen to focus our outreach efforts in prayer.”
The Tulsa BCM has six small group gatherings each week where students worship together, hear from a fellow student who teaches from the Bible and pray together. Each person in the meeting prays by name through a list of the people on campus they know or have met.
“We all pray through our unique lists all at the same time. It’s awesome to hear students lifting hundreds of names of classmates, roommates, friends and co-workers to God every week,” Brister said. “I think it’s fair to say we’re praying for God to move among 500 students each week by name.”
Brister was given several used copies of My Utmost for His Highest, written by Oswald Chambers, who died in 1917, by his dad. Eye surgeon Lin Brister uses a new copy each year as a personal journal. “I spend a lot of time learning from the Lord, from this old guy (Chambers), and from my dad.”
Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported, including church planting in Oklahoma and across the country. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together.
Brandon Brister was featured in the 2021 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see BCM Director Brister’s prayer requests, visit oklahomabaptists.org/cp.