It started with a simple question during a college Sunday School class. All the students in the class were theater majors at Southeast Missouri State University. “How do we get your friends here?” The answer was a resounding, “You won’t.” Theater majors tend to be night owls who really don’t start their day until noon or later. Further complicating the issue, many theater majors have been rejected by the church for being different. It's hard to get them into a church building. So the proposal was made that we should have a Bible study on campus. One phone call to the college asking for space to have a Bible study told the pastor that that was out of the question. Separation of church and state wouldn’t allow it.
The college class settled on a 10PM Thursday time and began looking for a coffee house or pub or business that would let them meet at that late hour. As word began to spread that a new campus ministry, liberal in nature, that targets theater majors was looking for space, business owners started coming forward to offer help. Abbey Road Christian Church wound up with a satellite location (15 Spanish St) in downtown and Backstage Faith was launched on November 6, 2015. The first two meetings have been very successful.
The basic core values of Backstage Faith are acceptance not judgment, faith not religion, and love beyond fear. We ask college students to accept acceptance, reclaim and build their faith, and make this world a more beautiful place.
Rev. Randy Cook is the campus minister and he has office hours on Tuesday and Thursday from 1PM to 5PM at the downtown location. If your church has a connection with a Disciples college student on the SEMO campus, please call the church (573)335-3422 with contact information. If anyone would like to donate to help this cause please make your checks to Abbey Road Christian Church for Backstage Faith.
Story and photos courtesy of Randy Cook.