February 20, 2020
By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist
It started with just one.
Zach Beasley had shared his testimony with a few dozen guys at one of the dorms. Fifteen had given him their names and said they were interested in meeting up for Bible study.
But only one came.
“For some reason, I wasn’t discouraged. I was like, ‘God, this means you’re about to do something amazing,’” said Beasley, Baptist campus minister for Alabama State University (ASU).
A few minutes later, the student told him he’d texted a friend and told him he should come too. He did.
“So I was just talking to the two of them and trying to get to know them, and as other people they knew walked by, they said, ‘Hey, we’re having Bible study, you should join us,’” Beasley said.
And they did.
“By the end of this session, I look up and there are 10 freshman guys in front of me,” Beasley said. “I asked them if they would like to do it again next week, and they said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”
And 10 grew to 20, all by word of mouth. That’s the way Beasley’s first semester — fall 2019 — started at ASU. And through the months that followed, God continued to do amazing things, he said.
He’s seen students grow in their faith through Bible study. He’s seen students engage with their Bibles, profess Christ for the first time and reach out to their friends. Many had never heard of “missions,” and now they’re participating in spring break and summer missions in other cities and states.
And in the summer, students will return for a leadership training project they affectionately call “Bible boot camp” — they’ll dig deep into how to read the Bible, pray and share their faith.
“The goal is for each one to be ready to make disciples,” Beasley said.
Mike Nuss, director of the office of collegiate and student ministries for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, said Beasley “has joined the Alabama Baptist campus ministry team at a critical time in our efforts to reach every student on college and university campuses across the state.”
‘In the days ahead’
The eventual plan is for him to start similar ministries on the campus of Tuskegee University.
“He has already made an important impact on the Alabama State campus and we are excited about what the Lord will do through him on the ASU as well as the Tuskegee University campuses in the days ahead,” Nuss said.