Baptists on Missions Leaders Relay Messages of Hope During Chowan University’s Taylor Religious Heritage Lectures
Leaders from Baptists on Missions (BOM) relayed messages of hope during the Chowan University Taylor Religious Heritage Lectures on September 19 and 21. On Monday, Executive Director-Treasurer, Richard Brunson was the featured speaker, and Missions Mobilization Consultant Paul Langston spoke on Wednesday, Sept 21. On Tuesday evening, Disaster Relief Coordinator Tom Beam was the keynote speaker at the Fall Chowan Christian Service Association (CCSA) Dinner.
Monday’s lecture opened with student ministry chaplains leading in worship. Junior Erica Mock gave the welcome and invocation, followed by sophomore Kashara Simpson reading scripture. Following the scripture, sophomore Brayden Conboy invited Richard Brunson to the stage and presented him with a monetary gift to help Ukrainian refugees. These funds were raised earlier in the semester when CCSA and Campus Ministry hosted the concession stands at the first football game.
After Minster of Engagement, Calvin Carter shared “Give Me Jesus” in song. Following the music, Minister to the University Rev. Mari Wiles introduced Richard Brunson sharing that he has been with BOM for over forty years and has led the ministry since 1992. She has enjoyed partnering with Brunson and expressed gratitude for their friendship.
Bruson began his remarks with a video that masterfully highlighted the work of BOM. He then challenged the students with his lecture titled, Make Your Life Count. Throughout his lecture, he asked, “Why were you put on this earth? How are you going to make a difference with your life?” He then shared powerful experiences of how he has witnessed life-altering experiences, including a personal health scare. These experiences have helped him answer those questions for himself.
Brunson has found his motivation to serve by leading the 19 different ministries of Baptists on Missions, including Disaster Relief which serves people during great crises. Brunson shared, “a basic belief of BOM is that all Christians are called, gifted, and sent. You are called to be salt and light to a lonely and hurting world. God has gifted you with gifts, skills, and abilities that he wants you to use for His glory. God sends us to be His hands and feet in a hurting world.”
He encouraged students to get involved in Chowan’s Campus Ministry. In his remarks, he noted the numerous mission trips that Campus Ministry has been on in partnership with Baptists on Missions, including sites in Lumberton, Shelby, New Jersey (after Hurricane Sandy), Haiti, Cuba, South Africa, and Ethiopia. Brunson encouraged students that “one of the great things you get to be a part of is carrying HOPE on the trips.”
Wednesday’s lecture opened with graduate student Patrick Krack giving the welcome and invocation and senior Shania Black reading scripture. Associate Professor of Music Dr. Benjamin Thorburn, accompanied by staff pianist Dejuan Lee led the Chowan Singers in “The Lone, Wild Bird.” Director of Church and Community Relations, Lou Ann Gilliam introduced Paul Langston, BOM Mission Mobilization Consultant.
Langston began his lecture by reflecting on his own time as a college student. As an undergraduate student, he chose to major in Chemical Engineering so that he could create a comfortable living for himself; however, he never had a true passion for the field. This left him unsettled about his future, and just before he was to graduate from Clemson University, he asked God, “ What do you want me to do?” Not long after voicing that prayer, Langston found his calling in ministry and began serving a church in downtown Durham. From there, he pursued work and education that prepared him for ministry. He shared with students that “listening to the voice of God will change your worldview.”
Also, during his lecture, Langston shared two videos of ministries of BOM. The first was about Ukraine and how BOM is ministering to those affected by the war. The second video was of Door of Hope, an organization that rescues abandoned babies. He praised Campus Ministry for helping rescue these children. He concluded his remarks by encouraging students to find their purpose in God’s plan.
The Taylor Religious Heritage Lecture Series was established in 1994 by Rev. Dr. R. Hargus and Mrs. Doris T. Taylor for the Chowan University community. The Taylors faithfully served Chowan as employees and also as donors. The late Dr. Taylor served as chaplain and later chair of the Religion Department. Mrs. Taylor served as a librarian.
For more information on the Taylor Religious Heritage Lectures or Chowan Campus Ministry, contact Minister to the University, Rev. Mari Wiles, at email@example.com.