Having grown up with helping at the Baptist Student Ministry, Matt Bery has become the director there.
“I have always wanted to do ministry work with college students,” said Bery, the new director of the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at South Plains College.
Bery worked at Immanuel Baptist Church in Temple, Texas and First Baptist Church in Crosbyton, Texas before coming to Levelland.
“My first job was working with children,” said Bery, who served as a children’s minister in Temple for five years. “And I discovered that children’s ministry is not where I wanted to be.”
Bery also ministered to youth for five years. However, he wanted to hang out with college students and minister to them because he enjoys being around all the different personalities of college students.
Bery grew up in several different places around Texas because his father was a pastor.
“I grew up in Ropesville for a little bit, in Amherst, in the Dallas area north of Bushland Hills, and graduated high school from Idalou,” he said.
He attended Baylor University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion, and later attended Truett Seminary, where he earned his Master of Divinity Degree.
Bery grew up in a Christian home, saying, “My parents and grandparents were all Christians and from Ropseville. I came over here (to BSM) with my grandparents several times, to feed, whenever I was small.”
His parents also attended South Plains College and were active in the Baptist Student Ministry. “South Plains College is a special place to my family and my heart,” Bery said. “I’m glad to be
here and be able to do this.”
“Above all, it’s God’s call on my life,” he added. “I felt the call to come over here. I felt it was a place that I could engage with students, faculty, and the campus, a place that I had the ability to really make an impact.”
The ministry’s vision for the South Plains is to engage communities, reach the campus, and to impact the world. BSM wants their students, who are involved, to be active in the other communities, such as clubs and classes, that they’re involved in around campus, even simply sharing the gospel with their dorms or organizations outside of school.
“We want them to be active,” Bery said, “and we want them to be a witness for Christ in those organizations… sharing Christ’s love with people around them.”
Bery says he hopes to reach communities and the campus by spreading, “little grass roots.”
“We want our students to be able to connect and to share with others around them,” Bery said. “So the campus has a positive impact from our students for Christ.”
He also shared the ministry’s bigger vision too.
“We want to send students all over the world,” said Bery. “I believe that college students are in the perfect position to impact and change the world like no others.”
Bery explained that college students will be the leaders of the world within the next five to 10 years, and said, “we have an opportunity to see students from all over the world here at Levelland, here at South Plains, and to send them back home to go all over the world to share Christ.”