BAPTIST STUDENT FELLOWSHIP
Established as a specialised ministry of the Church in response to the individual need of students and the need to nurture Christians within the campus community. It is an organisation of Baptist Students, a Fellowship of Christian Students and a Ministry to all students.
The fellowship has a rich history dating back to 1956 when Miss Mary Frank Kirkpatrick, the pioneer missionary of the Ministry arrived Nigeria. She began ministering to some students at Ibadan Boys’ High School, Ibadan. In 1957, the first ‘Baptist Student Night’ was held at Antioch Baptist Church, Ogbomoso on 29th December. It was an opportunity for students to lead the programme of the Church. Revd. Thomas Kennedy, a Southern Baptist Missionary working with Baptist Associations in Northern Nigeria made contact with some students in the North especially in Zaria. University of Ibadan Baptist students requested a worship opportunity in 1958 and by 1960, Baptist Student Union (BSU) of University of Ibadan was launched. Also in 1964, the BSU of University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) was launched on 11th of October.
In July 1966, the first BSU National Conference was held at the Nigerian Youth Camp, Lagos/Ibadan highway with 37 students in attendance. The BSU of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria started with the arrival of Miss Bettye Anne MC Queen in 1968. She also extended the scope of the Ministry to some towns in Northern Nigeria.
A motion was passed in 1975 by the Baptist Mission of Nigeria to bring student ministry under the complete direction of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC). The NBC nominated the first student work Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Deacon (Professor) A.F. Ogunsola. The name, ‘Baptist Student Union’ was changed to Baptist Student Fellowship (BSF). The Baptist Student Fellowship Alumni Association began in 1982 while the ‘BSF – NYSC Programme’ started in 1983.
Presently, BSF operates in 10 Zones across Nigeria, ministering to over 150 campuses including University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Ilorin, University of Benin and Ahmadu Bello University. The Fellowship’s vision to empower students to change the world for Christ is growing stronger through her commitment to spiritual vibrancy and academic excellence. The BSF’ logo is a symbol which describes the purpose and goal of the students ministry in which the academic cap (mortar board) stands for academic success (Acts 26:24). The Church building represents the local Church (Matthew 16:18). The open Bible stands for the revealed Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16) while the globe stands for the vision of the whole world (Matthew 28:19-20).
The mortar board, placed in the centre of the Church is the symbol of academic achievement, symbolizes the successful student.
Sources: BSFMautech Webpage, Baptist Student Fellowship Nigeria Page, SMDNBC Online.