It’s his birthday: BU student can serve if he wants to

Houston senior Kyle Kahlden doesn’t ask for cards or money for his birthday. Instead, he simply asks that his friends join him in serving the community.
Jed Dean | Lariat Photo Editor

By Stori Long

Whether they’re young or old, people typically want their birthdays to have one thing in common: They want it to be about them. But one Baylor student wants something a little different this year.

When Houston senior Kyle Kahlden turns 22 Monday, he doesn’t want his friends to buy him gifts or throw a party. Rather, he requested that they join him on a one-day mission trip to serve the Waco community.

“God was really putting it on my heart that I needed to get outside of my bubble and do something, as corny as it may sound,” Kahlden said. “I also never really did a lot to celebrate my birthday because I never felt like I did anything worth celebrating on that day and I thought this was something worth doing.”

Last year for spring break, Kahlden participated in a service project with his church, helping a church in Bellmead clean and paint. For his birthday soon after, he asked a group of friends to accompany him to return to the church for a day and serve more.

This year, Kahlden wants to celebrate his birthday by serving members in his church at First Baptist Church of Woodway and meeting the various needs of some of the members, from power washing to helping around the house.

For those who know Kahlden, this desire to make his birthday more than just about him does not come as a surprise.

“This is a part of Kyle that he doesn’t go around bragging about,” Colorado Springs, Colo., senior John Funk said. “He’s super friendly and outgoing, but stuff like this he doesn’t go around broadcasting he just does it. He’s very humble in that way. ”

Senior Jeremy Ervin, Kahlden’s roommate, echoes this sentiment.

“Kyle has a genuine care for people,” Ervin said. “He’s a pretty selfless guy. Most people for their birthdays want to go to dinner or have a party, but Kyle wants to go serve and he takes all the attention off himself.”

Taking the attention off himself and putting it on God is exactly what Khalden said he wants to achieve.

“My birthday should be a day to celebrate the fact that God is giving me breath every day. It should put the focus on God and not me,” Khalden said. “I really just want it to be a day when God’s beauty can be celebrated.”

Those interested in helping with Kahlden’s birthday event from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday can contact Kyle at