North Texas Daily

Campus ministry building faces future construction

Campus ministry building faces future construction

September 04
21:49 2014

Kaitlyn Stockton / Intern Writer

UNT’s Baptist Student Ministry building will soon be no more. A new, state-of-the-art building will take its place in 2016.

Instead of a renovated building, students will find a new building in its past location.

In the past six years, many organizations have assisted the BSM in raising $2 million for the construction of a new building.

BSM Director Stephanie Gates said the organization’s current establishment was built in 1960. At the time, the BSM building lay at the edge of UNT’s campus and offered the university’s population of 6,000 a place for students to worship.

“It’s just like any older building. It starts to deteriorate,” Gates said. “It has served us so well. We have been very blessed.”

Gates said the BSM has continued to prosper and grow through the years while UNT has grown around its location. The building was not built with a population of 36,000 students in mind.

“This building is just not built in a convenient way to do what we would like to do. We originally thought we would be renovating the building. An architect looked at it, and said it is going to cost you $1.5 million,” she said.

Regional Coordinator of the Baptist General Convention of Texas John Pearce said obtaining the funds has been a long road full of blockades.

“We started in 2008 at a time of the economic meltdown, but people gave and continued to give,” Pearce said.

Currently, donors, which include Baptist alumni, have raised $1.9 million for the new building. Gates said she is thankful for all the support the ministry has received.

“It has been great to see so many partners say that what we are doing is important, that we are making a difference,” she said.

Gates said  the new BSM is scheduled to open in January 2016, and the hope is that it is only closed between six months and a year.

BSM administrative assistant Liand Newby has been a part of the BSM since she attended UNT in the mid ’00s. An avid member in the past and present, she enjoys knowing the ministry will continue to offer others what it offered her.

“It feels great to know something that I have been a part of for so long is not going to disintegrate with the ceiling tiles,” Newby said. “I am so glad I was able to give much back to a ministry that gave so much to me.”

Gates hopes to see a building that will assist more students for another 50 years.

“We want to continue the legacy of BSM,” Gates said. “This building has served well for the past 50 years. We want a building in this place that will do the same.”

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