Garry McNeill has served as the pastor of Durant, First since 2019. Along with leading this great congregation in southeast Oklahoma, McNeill has been instrumental in helping raise funds to build a place for the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) at Southeastern Oklahoma State.

For McNeill, helping Southeastern’s BCM with this project was “an absolute no-brainer.”

“When I was asked to be on the steering committee for the BCM building project, I was glad to be part of this. We were hopeful to raise the funds quickly,” McNeill said. “But with COVID and its effects on the construction market, (it made it difficult) to raise the funds we needed.”

McNeill said the BCM building project raised $2.7 million over a three-year span, but they were needing to almost equal that amount in less than five months to receive a grant from a private foundation.

“What we witnessed was a miracle from God!” McNeill said. “We saw the funds come in to unlock that grant.”

McNeill commended BCM director Trey Hedrick and associate director Ryan Schuessler for their leadership at Southeastern, especially since this BCM has not had a building for more than six years.

Construction will begin soon, as fundraising has neared completion. McNeil has long seen the importance of BCM ministry.

“When I arrived at Northwestern (Oklahoma State) in Alva, I immediately met my roommate who invited me to the Baptist Student Union (BSU, which would soon change names to BCM),” he said. “I went on my first mission trip, learned to lead worship and many more key experiences as a part of the BCM! I would not be a minister of the Gospel today without the ministry of that (BCM). And that fueled my passion to see a building constructed here at Southeastern.”

Oklahoma Baptists support 39 BCMs on state college campuses through the Cooperative Program, including Southeastern.