It’s almost that time of year again—where the temperature starts to drop (hopefully), high school and college football comes back on the scene, and students are back in school. And for us here at Dawson, it means it’s time for us to kick off our College Ministry!
My name is Blake Jenkins, and I am the new Minister to College Students at Dawson. My wife Becca and I are beyond thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this family of faith.
I am originally from a small town on Sand Mountain in northeast Alabama, but I have lived the majority of my life in the greater Birmingham area. I was saved and baptized at the age of 11 and benefitted greatly from the investment of many men and women as I grew up in the church. I went to high school at Jefferson County International Baccalaureate at Shades Valley before going to Tuscaloosa to attend the University of Alabama. It was in the summer after my first year at the University that I met my wife Becca while working for Student Life Camps. She was raised in Sumter, South Carolina, and was attending Clemson University at the time. We dated long-distance for 10 months before getting engaged and then got married 10 months after that.
We started our marriage in Tuscaloosa where Becca started her career as a teacher while I began serving in the ministry as an Associate College Minister at Calvary Baptist Church overseeing our college life groups. Shortly after this, I started my master’s program at Beeson at Samford University. And though I racked up a lot of miles commuting from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham, I wouldn’t trade that season for anything.
Upon graduation from Beeson, I was called to be the Young Adult Pastor at Ingleside Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia, working with college students and young adults from all walks of life in Middle Georgia. It was while we were in Macon that we had our son, Thomas, and got our equally active golden retriever, Leeroy. We were privileged to serve there for two and a half years before accepting the call to come and serve at Dawson.
Speaking with our church leaders throughout the interview process, it was evident that we have many opportunities to impact the college campuses in the Birmingham area for Jesus. Given our geographic location, ample resources, and the strong bond that the love of Christ gives our church family, Dawson is poised to make a difference in the lives of the students in a significant way!
I look forward to partnering with many of you to reach and disciple college-aged students in our community. I believe that this can happen most effectively when college students are engaging with God, each other, the wider church, and the world around them. This means that we will be creating new opportunities for them while encouraging them to participate in already established ministries and programming in our church.
There is definitely a lot that we are going to be getting off the ground here at the start of the new church year, but our big three goals for the next year we will be:
- Laying the ground work to launch a week-night worship service designed purposefully for college students.
- Developing week-night Life Group options for our students.
- Establishing an intern and associate program for undergraduate and graduate students.
I’m incredibly excited about helping to build on the foundation laid by Andy Cartee and many others while expanding new areas of opportunity for our college students. If you are interested in learning more about our plans for the future or would like to hear about specific ways that you can be involved, please contact me at email@example.com.