(Kara Carrier / American Press)
The Baptist Collegiate Ministry building on the McNeese State University campus is six decades old.
Last Modified: Monday, December 30, 2013 1:09 PMFor the past 60 years, the Baptist Collegiate Ministry building at McNeese has been a place where many fond memories have been made. Memories, according to BCM Director Keith Cating, that include marriage proposals, first kisses and salvation.
In the next few weeks, that building will be torn down and a new state-of-the-art building will be erected in its place. Cating said the organization has outgrown its current facility and maintenance costs have been increasing every year.
“It’s bittersweet. I remember when I first walked through those doors in 1968,” Cating said. “There are a lot of memories here. It’s sad to see the old building go and the memories gone, but there’s also the excitement of the new building.”
Cating said the new BCM facility will be almost 10,000 square feet — almost twice the size of the current building and will include a game room, meeting room for worship and lunch, lounge area, conference room and prayer room. “There will be a lot more space for us to grow,” he said.
Cating said the organization has raised almost $1.4 million over the past four years for the new facility, but they need another $300,000 to cover additional building expenses. “We will continue to raise money this year,” Cating said. “I think 150 organizations have already contributed to the building fund. We are very fortunate.”
According to Cating, the BCM has raised enough funds to build the facility, but not enough for furnishings and landscaping. Cating is hoping to have enough money raised to move into the new building by fall 2014.
During the interim, the BCM will we meet in the Ranch at McNeese and have its office and Bible studies at Emmanuel Baptist Church.
Cating said the BCM, though not an official McNeese entity, is an integral part of student life. “It’s a critical time in their life where they are making life decisions,” he said. “A lot of times they will walk away from their faith. We try to transform them so they make their decisions based on Christ.”
According to Cating, if a student is involved in a campus organization, they are more likely to graduate. “The university knows that,” he said. “They want all the organizations, including the BCM, to be successful so those students will have more than just a classroom to focus on until they graduate.”