Apostolos

 

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Born from a request of the student body, the Department of Religion and Philosophy and the Mission Center at Wayland Baptist University in 2008 formed a new student group whose sole mission is mission. Apostolos, meaning "one who is sent out," consists of students whose interest is to transform Wayland into a body of believers who truly work to meet the needs of the community.

Apostolos was formed under the auspices of one of the five main goals of the Mission Center. According to Dr. Shaw one of the Mission Center directives is to focus on the needs of the community, and to help students meet those needs. "There have been many attempts and ministries by special groups such as BSM, which does fabulous work, and different departments do a lot of great things, but our focus is the get Wayland as a whole body to minister to this community and this area," Shaw said.

To that end, Apostolos hit the ground running. The group chose 24 students to serve as leaders. Each of the 24 student leaders was asked to interview a community leader, including leaders within the Plainview Independent School District, law enforcement officials, leaders with the literacy council, crisis pregnancy center, the Serenity House, Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, religious leaders from various denominations and more. Through the course of these interviews, the group was looking for the major area of need within the community. After reading through all the interviews and research, the group determined that at-risk youth are the most pressing need facing our community.

One of the primary ministry projects of Apostolos is a one-on-one mentoring program with freshmen and sophomores from Plainview High School. Working in collaboration with Principal Lisa Kersh, Associate Principal Pam McMahan, and Freshmen Counselor Courtney Cummings, Apostolos members meet twice each week with their "little brothers and little sisters" to encourage, listen, tutor, play games, and hang out. Now in its third year, the mentoring program is greatly assisted by Associate Professor of Social Work Mrs. Debra Lavender-Bratcher. Lavender-Bratcher trains all of the Apostolos members in skill development for ministering to youth at risk.