Zeke Stephenson, Gardner Webb student, shares how his church has helped him become more involve in CBF. Perhaps his story can help to encourage you if you are looking to find ways to plug into CBF life. Zeke shares his story below as a part of a new series on CBF Young Baptists.
My name is Zeke Stephenson and I am a junior at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. I am currently studying Psychology and Religious Studies. I have attended a CBF church most of my life–so I grew up in an environment that is accepting of people who aren’t like me. My church and the people in it have helped me grow and mold me into the person that I am today.
Aside from going to a CBF church, I have also had the opportunity to attend a private Christian university where I have been challenged to form my own opinions and develop my own theology. My experience at GWU has been one of the greatest, most challenging stages in my life.
My hometown of Rutherfordton, North Carolina is only a short 25-minute drive from GWU, so I have been able to remain involved with my home church. As a freshman, the Youth Minister asked me, since I was so close to home, if I would consider helping him out on Wednesday nights. Since then, my responsibilities have grown from filling in when I was needed, to teaching Bible study every Wednesday night and filling leadership roles on mission trips, retreats, and other functions for the students in the church. Being involved in a leadership role in a church has shown me the good, the bad and the ugly side of ministry, but dealing with and seeing others deal with adversity has only affirmed that I am doing exactly what God has called me to do especially at this point in my life.
Other than the many ministry opportunities and experiences in which I have participated, like Passport Camps, seeing the students in my home church grow and mature on their journey with Christ has been one of the most meaningful experiences in my life as a young Baptist leader.