Crescent native Ronnie Payne had “a great experience,” he said, in what was then known as BSU at the University of Central Oklahoma.

He graduated in 1981, sensing a call to ministry, and graduated from Southwestern Seminary in 1986. Payne’s first four years of church ministry were in south Texas, then 22 years as Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) director at Murray State College in Tishomingo, where he also pastored Tishomingo, Bullard Chapel. For the last eight years he has served as BCM director at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva.

“Many of today’s students come from difficult and diverse family backgrounds,” Payne said. “They have many social media friends and connections but are hungry for close meaningful relationships with people they feel they can trust.”

Northwestern BCM tries to be relational in its approach while keeping the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the forefront of its ministry, Payne said. Their strategy starts with a “big funnel” approach—lots of different activities such as Noonday lunch, drawing nearly 175 students, with meals prepared by 14 churches from three associations—and then directing students into small group Bible studies, worship events, active church affiliation and discipleship opportunities, plus building relationships while meeting individual needs.

“My wife Marian and I try to make the BCM a home away from home for today’s students,” Payne said. “We talk about the importance of a Christ-centered life for their future plans and aspirations.”

The BCM plans mission trips each year to give students hands-on opportunities to serve others.

“It helps them see God can use their lives in a meaningful way to help people,” Payne said. “The difference they can make in the lives of people in need is really powerful. It opens their heart to hear from God.”

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.

Ronnie Payne was featured in the 2021 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see BCM Director Payne’s prayer requests, visit