Judson Campus Ministry Update 2019

First Baptist Church is one of the supporting partners of the Judson Baptist Fellowship, an American Baptist Campus Ministry at Illinois State University.

Here are some highlights from their 2019 newsletter:

“Phil in the blanks”

Hi!  In case we haven’t met, my name is Phil Grizzard, and I am the campus minister for Judson Baptist Fellowship at Illinois State.  (If we have met, then Hello Again!)  My passion is ministering to and with college students.  This is now my 9th year, and I love this job.

In the gospel of John, some Greek worshippers came to one of the disciples and said, “We would like to see Jesus.”  The disciple then did his best to arrange for that to happen.  I take this to heart, because that disciple’s name was also Philip! (John 12:20-23)  At Judson, we also want to help students and young adults in our community to see Jesus—through our words, actions, and love.

The purpose of Judson Baptist Fellowship is to enhance and sustain the spiritual and emotional well-being of young adults in our campus community during this vital time in their lives.

Phil Grizzard, Matt Geerdes

Judson is excited to be a co-founder of AGAPE, a ministry partnership at ISU’s Campus Religious Center.  Our partner in ministry is The Movement ISU, directed by Matt Geerdes.  This active collaboration has allowed us to maximize resources, reach more students, and provide a larger variety of programming than ever before during my tenure.  We were recently featured on a front-page   Pantagraph Article

A very brief glimpse of these activities is presented in visual form with succinct commentary throughout this letter.  Though an abbreviated sample, I hope you can get a sense of how God is working through us to make a positive impact on the lives of those in our university community.  One thing you’ll notice is that we have a great deal of diversity in our group!

Dinner Church

Each Thursday night we hold Dinner Church.  It is a meal and a worship service all in one, with scripture, songs, sharing, prayer, a message, and communion.  Then we get out ice cream and have an hour of “Digging Deeper,” where we go into depth discussing questions and thoughts on the topic.

Volunteer Work

We run a Community Garden at the Campus Religious Center (CRC), and we volunteer with Home Sweet Home Ministries, a local organization that provides shelter, food, furniture, and living supplies for those in need, as well as community awareness and advocacy for those in poverty.

Every Monday night, we host a Community Meal that is open for anyone and everyone who comes.  Most participants are students looking for a free home-cooked meal and some quality time to hang out.  We also have some regular attendees who are older and are food insecure.  Everyone gathers and shares in conversation.


Of course, plenty of fellowship!  We have student lunches, sports outings, retreats, nature hikes, game nights, cookouts, you name it.  This attracts a larger number of students, who join us for what they’re most interested in.

Campus Outreach

Each week we have Coffee on the Quad to talk with passing students.  We also recently started an Art Exhibit at the CRC for students to display and describe their work to the public.

Spring Break Trips

This year for Spring Break we drove to Washington, D.C. to learn about issues and advocate to our representatives (including Darin LaHood, right) for policies to help the poor and marginalized.  We also met with the Baptist Joint Committee (which is located catty corner from the Supreme Court) to learn about what they are doing in the fight for true religious freedom.

The last four years, we’ve taken spring break mission trips to all four time zones!  Memphis in 2018, Arizona in 2017, and San Diego in 2016.

Can you help?

By partnering with us, you are ministering to young adults at the most crucial time to help keep them in the church.  We greatly appreciate your continued support—is vital to our ministry!  Perhaps your church could prayerfully consider boosting your contribution as you feel God’s leading.  Beyond financial considerations, you can also…

      • Click to like us on facebook:
      • Give our information to any potential ISU students you know.
      • Tell your congregation about us by sharing an announcement and posting this newsletter.
      • Stay in touch! If you’d like, drop me a note sometime –

Thank you, and Merry Christmas!  😊