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New MSU BSU soon to rise

Balloon release at MSU BSU groundbreaking

By William H. Perkins Jr.
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The president of Mississippi State University (MSU) joined Jim Futral, executive director of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB), and over 300 Mississippi Baptists on Oct. 7 in breaking ground for the new multi-million-dollar Baptist Student Union (BSU) facility on the Starkville campus.

“This is a great day for all of us to be here on a wonderful occasion, to be here to celebrate a new facility, a new beautiful building that will be right here on this very spot to serve the needs of this university and be a tremendous asset to this community at large but more importantly, to serve the spiritual needs of our Mississippi State students,” said Mark E. Keenum, MSU president and member of First Church, Starkville.

Referring to the MSU football team’s number one ranking in the Associated Press weekly poll, Futral said, “The whole nation is talking about what’s taking place here, but what’s taking place right here (at the new BSU site) may have more eternal value than anything that’s being talked about across the nation these days.”

Futral said the new building is the shared vision of many who have benefited from the BSU ministry over the decades. “All across our state there are people who can’t be here today, but who are participating through their gifts. They care about what God is doing on this campus and what He’s doing at the BSU.”

Joining Keenum and Futral on the speaker’s platform were Michael Ball, MSU BSU director, and Amy Tuck, MSU vice-president for campus services and former Mississippi Lt. Governor.

“Today is not just a historic day, but it’s a happy day as we celebrate the vision and sacrifice of many people,” Ball said. “We recognize the hand of God in this event, and we desire for this building to be set apart and to be used for His purposes.”

“What an honor it is to be with you today to help celebrate the beginning of a new chapter for Mississippi State University’s Baptist Student Union,” Tuck said.

Participating in the groundbreaking were (see photo, from left) June Scoggins, MSU BSU associate director; Weaver McCracken, MBCB collegiate ministry director; Jedd Moak, MSU BSU president and current state BSU president; Michael Ball, MSU BSU director; Jim Futral, MBCB executive director; Mark Keenum, MSU president; Amy Tuck, MSU vice-president for campus services; Barri Shirley, MBCB associate executive director for business services; Larry Singleton, lead architect; and David Michel, MBCB associate executive director for mission strategy.

After the groundbreaking, Ball said, “The BSU groundbreaking began a new chapter on the campus at MSU. This new facility will be a lighthouse for future generations of Bulldogs. I appreciate the strong support of MBCB, Mississippi churches, and faithful alumni and friends who have helped make this day possible.”

“The need for a bright, shining witness for Christ has never been more important than now,” Futral said after the groundbreaking. “We’re so thankful for those who have gone before and on their strong shoulders we stand today, ready to impact the generations to come for our Lord.”

The site for the new BSU is a short distance southwest of the current BSU building, which is located at 282 E. Lee Blvd. The new BSU will stand where Hamlin Hall, a former residence hall torn down in 2004, was located. At over 15,000 square feet, the new BSU will be one of the largest such facilities in the Southern Baptist Convention.

For more information on the MSU BSU project, contact Michael Ball, MSU BSU director, at P.O. Drawer BU, Mississippi State, MS 39762. Telephone: (662) 323-5761. E-mail: michael@msubsu.com. Web site: msubsu.com.

The MSU Office of Public Affairs news bureau contributed to this article.

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