Are you looking for a church to attend? Do you want to avoid having to drive miles away? Bethany First Church has a service just for us college students, and it just so happens to be right across the street from SNU’s campus. I spoke with Pastor Chris Holcomb and Angela Hamilton in order to provide information for those who’d like to learn more and get connected.
Both Holcomb and Hamilton are both deeply involved with the young adult ministries of BFC. These ministries consist of many different weekly events beneath the umbrella of BFC’s college ministry, which is, according to Holcomb, “specifically geared toward college-aged [young adults]. Late Night is [the] worship and community event [associated with BFC College] that takes place every Wednesday at 9pm.”
“[As] the College Pastor at Bethany First Church, I lead and pastor our college ministry,” says Holcomb. “At Late Night, my primary role is to preach and teach, lead our volunteer teams, and be available as a pastor to students.”
Hamilton’s role is more behind the scenes. “I am in charge of [what’s called] ‘hunger and happiness.’ I organize and make Wednesday night dinner,” says Hamilton.
“BFC College Late Night has several purposes,” says Holcomb. “First, we want to create a culture and environment where students can fully experience the grace, love, and mercy of God. We believe that happens best when we create moments for praise and worship, prayer, hearing the word preached, and serving. Second, we want Late Night to be fun. Followers of Jesus should be the most joyful people on the planet. We want our gathering together to reflect that joy. So we will eat together every night, play games, intramural sports leagues, and spend time fellowship with each other. And third, it’s a place of freedom. We want students to experience the freedom of a life with Jesus and to be exactly who God intended them to be.”
Just a few of the benefits of BFC College and Late Night include, according to Hamilton, “welcoming college students in for a time of worship, giving them a chance to break away from everyday life, and having fun.”
Why is this important to us college students? What makes BFC such a great option? Pastor Holcomb says.
“Being plugged into a local church is essential. We were never created to do faith in isolation but always to be lived out in the context of the Christian community,” says Holcomb. “Whether it’s Bethany First Church or another local church in the area, I want students to connect to the Body of Christ. BFC College is a great place to connect, grow your faith, and become more like Jesus.”
“We love college students! We want to live with open arms and show them Jesus. We want students to feel loved, accepted, and encouraged,” says Hamilton.
There are many more activities at available at BFC Late Night other than just hanging out. “We run intramural sports leagues every week,” says Hamilton. “We finished up three-on-three basketball and are about to kick off six-v-six indoor volleyball.
“We believe playing together is an integral part of creating a community,” says Pastor Holcomb.
BFC Late Night isn’t always at or within the church. For example, they just had Fall Basic Bash where there were all types of outdoor fall classics!
“We also do outside events and activities to create memories and experiences that bring community and enjoyment to life,” says Holcomb. “We have a Halloween Scary Movie Night on the lawn on October 26th. And a Friendsgiving on November 16th.”
As Christ-followers, it’s important that we spend time learning and growing spiritually. “We always try to preach messages that are relatable to college-age students,” says Holcomb. “We use many stories and life experiences to connect the message of Jesus to our [own] lives. But all of our messages will reveal the good news of God’s love, grace, and mercy. And every message will challenge us to continue becoming more like Christ.”
Pastor Holcomb loves meeting new faces, so come to BFC Late Night on Wednesdays at 9pm!
“We are creating a culture where you can belong before you believe, and you will be loved. You don’t have to have faith and God all figured out. Your life doesn’t have to be perfect and on track. Whether you are an athlete or a mathlete, born going to church or it’s your first time, it’s a place you can come to experience the love of God in a fresh way. We also promise to feed you really well!” says Holcomb.
“We try to create an open-arms atmosphere so that anyone who comes through our doors is welcomed and comfortable. BFC Late night is not only for SNU and BFC student,” says Hamilton. It is a place for any college student. We love our college students!”