BCM hosts annual cookout for students, encourages to learn about organization


Photo by: Caleb Reeves

Students waited in line to build friendships and hot dogs at the cookout hosted by BCM outside of Smith University Center (UC) on Aug. 21.

Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) hosted a free cookout on Aug. 21 on the lawn of the Smith University Center (UC) lawn for FMU’s Welcome Week.

The event served as a way for new and returning students to eat food and socialize, but also for BCM to find people who would be potentially interested in the organization.

The meal at the cookout consisted of hotdogs, potato chips, cookies, soda and water. BCM leaders also served snow cones at a separate station.

While students waited in line for food, leaders handed out information sheets. If they were interested in joining BCM, a bible study group or a mission trip, they filled out and turned in their sheet.

BCM also provided several activities for students to participate in, which included an inflatable obstacle course, volleyball, giant Jenga and cornhole while music played over the UC lawn.

Kendal Danford, BCM’s campus minister and director, said being able to hold the cookout was a perk for winning FMU’s Organization of the Year last year. He said the cookout was held for the organization to connect with students.

“It’s like an outreach event for us so we can meet new students as well as returning students,” Danford said. “We have opportunities to have conversations with them, tell them a little bit about BCM, and it’s just a good fellowship time to meet new students and have some fun.”

Danford said he also noted an increase in involvement this year compared to last year.

“I think that people stayed around longer instead of eating and going back to whatever they were doing,” Danford said.

Senior Zach Blankenship said he attended the event because he goes to church with some of the volunteers who helped with the event’s operations. He said he went for friends and food but left with something more.

“I also gained new appreciation for friends who stopped me from leaving early to stay and I actually enjoyed the entire event,” Blankenship said. “So I went in looking for free food but came out with a better understanding of community.”

BCM leader Betty Suggs said the 2015 cookout is the event that got her involved with the organization.

“I started going to BCM because a co-worker of mine invited me,” Suggs said. “The first event I attended was the cookout, and from then I was hooked.”

Suggs said the cookout, and BCM events in general, are meant for people to have fun while learning about the organization.

“We do events like the cookout to let others hear about BCM,” Suggs said. “We also want to show that we aren’t some boring Christian organization and that Christians can still have fun.”

Suggs also said she hopes the cookout pushes people to attend BCM.

“I hope that people will start attending BCM every Tuesday night and will form a relationship with Christ, or if they already have that relationship, they will grow in their walk with Christ,” Suggs said.

BCM holds student gatherings, at which they provide free food and music, every Tuesday at 7 p.m. and is located next to the Griffin Athletic Complex. According to Danford, BCM’s purpose is to meet students and point them toward Jesus.