Drake Bendabout serves as the Murray State College (MSC) Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) director in Tishomingo. His job is to develop and implement a clear and specific strategy regarding student leadership development, discipleship, evangelism, missions, recruitment, administration and local church relations. He has the unique opportunity to minister to college students, faculty, staff and associational church partners.

Murray State College is a two-year institution where students can earn associate degrees and certificates. Ministry on two-year college campuses comes with special challenges, but Drake and his wife, Katie, recognize these challenges and are working to overcome them.

“The most challenging thing for the Murray State BCM is the high turnover rate of students,” Drake said. “We may have a college student at BCM for a semester, maybe two, and if we are lucky, we have them for their full four semesters. The rise of concurrent classes for high schoolers brings a new challenge—a challenge we are aiming to overcome.”

Add to that the current attitude toward Christianity found on many college campuses, and one can see the challenges are great.

“The biggest thing that hinders college students from accepting the Gospel is that they don’t see a need for it,” Drake said. “They are well-informed about what the world has to offer them, and they find that more appealing than Christianity. According to our current world, Christianity is a nuisance, and the current college culture reflects that.”

Still, even with these challenges, Drake finds his work rewarding.

“One thing I find especially rewarding about my work is taking college students on mission trips and watching them grow in their walk,” he said. “Watching them experience a new area and culture, serving alongside each other, sharing the Gospel and realizing they can do the same thing back at their campus is so rewarding!”

And just as rewarding is when a student puts his or her faith in Jesus and becomes a follower of Christ.

“Recently, a student of ours accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior!” Drake said. “He had been active in our BCM and local associational church. After witnessing the lives of our college students and hearing their testimonies, he asked me how he could become a follower of Christ. It was a prayer answered for sure!”

All this is made possible because of God’s grace and the prayers of His people. Please pray that the Lord sends strong student leaders to the MSC BCM and that the hearts and minds of those on the MSC campus will be open to the Gospel.

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 is featured in the 2023 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. For more information about the Cooperative Program, visit oklahomabaptists.org/cp.