Beltway Park Baptist Church college service has moved to the downtown Paramount Theater to be closer to students on Wednesday nights.
Around 250 people attend the Beltway Church college service every Wednesday evening. Around two-thirds are ACU students. Worship at the Paramount Theater started this Wednesday.
“Distance was our biggest problem,” said Jeremy West, the associate college pastor at Beltway Park Baptist Church on Beltway South ofÂ Abilene.
West said most students needed to drive for 20 to 30 minutes to attend the college worship on Wednesday nights, and the gas and time spent traveling were a problem for students. The new location is much closer to the three college campuses. He expects the change to enable the church to reach out to more students from all the universities in Abilene.
Drew Dixon, senior Bible major from Sugarland, expressed his excitement.
“It is closer,” said Dixon, “but to worship at a beautiful and antique theater is also very exciting. ”
The college service is kicking off a four-week series on different kinds of relationships, including dating, friendship, and the interaction with people in authority. The door is open to everyone who wants to attend. Students also have access to free podcasts through iTunes. Next Wednesday, the service will take place at the Paramount. They will also meet at Hunter Welcome Center on Oct. 26.
Although moving the service downtown adds more weight on the administrators’ shoulders because they need to move the band equipment every week, they felt it was worth it.
Keith Roberson, the college pastor, said the move was a wise decision and would be beneficial.
“We are unbelievably excited that we get a chance to move downtown and can be closer to students,” said Roberson.
One problem may occur – students might be alienated from the church because they will be worshiping far away from the Â church body.
“But since people are going to the church every Sunday,” said Roberson, “I don’t think it will become a major problem.”
The mission statement of Beltway Park Church college service is to encounter Jesus, embrace the church and engage God’s mission. Besides the Wednesday worships, college students can also be involved in smaller life groups.
“We try to be authentic and real,” said West. “We want to live out the Kingdom’s value, love God and other people and to reach out.”