BCM starts off new year with “Soul Detox”

Nisheeka Simmons, Staff Writer

Within the last four weeks, more than 100 students have congregated in the main room of Francis Marion University’s (FMU) Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) to hear the messages in the Christian organization’s latest series entitled “Soul Detox.”

Erin Ussery, a senior majoring in biology, attended all four weeks of the series of messages. Ussery has participated in BCM since her sophomore year and said that she thought it was refreshing to hear what each speaker had to say regarding subjects in everyday life that affect a person’s spiritual life.

“It was cool to read the biblical explanations of how we are supposed to govern ourselves in certain situations and compare them to our actual actions,” Ussery said.

Mary Batchelor, senior Spanish major and BCM president, said that “Soul Detox” is BCM’s first series of the spring semester.  According to Batchelor, the main idea behind the series is to start off the year with students reflecting on themselves and their personal experiences with Christ. Batchelor said that each week a speaker presented on different subjects that can become a problem in everyday life including toxic words and emotions.

“I believe the message that has had the most impact on my personal life is the one called ‘Toxic Words’,” Batchelor said. “I think that words have a tremendous impact on our lives that most people do not realize.  I think about how I talk about to people in my classes and anywhere I go and I need to make sure I use my words for good and not for bad.”

Tim Laurent, FMU mass communication graduate and BCM semester missionary, also said that he felt the message on “Toxic Words” was particularly significant. Laurent said that it is important for people to be careful to keep their words positive because they usually do not realize the depth of pain they can cause others with their negativity.  According to Laurent, he felt that the participatory activity led by Kendal Danford, the BCM campus minister, at the end of the night helped put the message into perspective.

“Each person present was given a tongue depressor and was told to write down on it whatever issues they were having with negativity while speaking,” Laurent said. “We each prayed over our specific issues, and then we broke the depressors and surrendered them to God.”

Laurent went on to explain that the entire “Soul Detox” series was all about getting students to realize the importance of having a pure soul. He said that the messages gave students the opportunity to identify the things in their everyday lives that are toxic to their spiritual lives. Laurent said that the students could then use that knowledge to work to be rid of whatever it is that is hindering their walk with Christ.

Laurent said that BCM saw a really good response to the “Soul Detox” series. He said that it can sometimes be difficult to reach people at the beginning of the semester, but feels like the students really responded and benefitted from the messages provided by him, Danford, and visiting speaker Nathan Neighbors. Laurent said that the topics appealed to issues that everyone has had to deal with at some point or another.

“We all get frustrated sometimes, and Nathan gave a great example using the story of Cain and Abel,” Laurent said. “God can give you peace from these emotions.”

BCM is a student-run Christian organization at FMU that is located across the street from the main campus near the new athletic complex.  On Tuesdays the organization offers a free meal sponsored by local churches at 7 p.m. and worship service at 8 p.m.