Students minister through video, discussion in new group

“Voice of the Bears” John Morris (left) interacts with Baylor graduate David Murphy (right) during the launch of the I Am Second group Tuesday at the Ferrell Center.
Matthew McCarroll | Lariat Photographer

By Alyssa Maxwell

A student-run Christian organization, I Am Second, launched at Baylor Tuesday.

The organization, which defines itself as “a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others,” reaches out to both faith-based and nontraditional churchgoers through testimonial videos. It was founded in Dallas by Norm Miller.

“The idea behind it is that God is first and you are second to him,” said Rowlett junior Sammie Kelley, a cofounder of the Baylor chapter.

The launch party was held at the Ferrell Center Tuesday from 5:45-7:30 p.m. David Murphy, Baylor alumni and Texas Rangers outfielder, and John Morris, the “Voice of the Bears,” were featured as special guests.

“It is awesome what I Am Second does,” Murphy said during the launch. Baseball, he said, is his “mission field” for sharing his faith. Murphy said the time in which his faith was born was as a college student, playing baseball for Baylor.

“Baylor is the perfect place to be; it is genuine here,” Murphy said to listeners at the launch. “I wasn’t a believer when I came here, but through Coach [Steve] Smith, my wife and Chapel, I received salvation.”

Others, such as Brian Welch, ex-member of the band Korn; Bailee Madison, an actress in movies such as “Bridge to Terabithia;” Josh Hamilton, outfielder for the Texas Rangers; and Vitor Belfort, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion have also shared their stories through I Am Second. The organization’s website contains video testimonials of the everyday struggles, trials and tribulations from this group and others.

“[I Am Second] is just a place to experience God,” said Rowlett junior Chase Culpepper, who is also a cofounder of the Baylor chapter. “The whole group is discussion-based and is a perfect tool for non-Christians as well because they won’t feel intimidated or attacked.”

Kelley became involved in the organization after she saw an I Am Second video that Culpepper’s mother made. When Kelley and Culpepper came to Baylor in the Fall of 2010, they started their own individual small group of seven people. Now, that group has grown to 30 members. I Am Second was chartered as an official Baylor organization in October.

“Here at Baylor, it’s a way to reach out to the nontraditional churchgoers and to allow them to encounter God in a real authentic way and develop a relationship,” Kelley said. “For those who do believe in God, it’s a way to act out their faith.”

There are no fees to join I Am Second. Kelley and Culpepper said they will work with students’ schedules and place them in contact with a small group leader that best fits that schedule.

Each small group will meet once a week for the duration of the semester to view an I Am Second video. After the video is over, the group will discuss what they did and didn’t like.

“The goal for next semester is to start creating our own videos here for I Am Second Baylor,” Culpepper said.

By creating I Am Second videos of Baylor faculty, staff, students, athletes and others, the small groups hope to have more relatable resources instead of watching videos of people they don’t know.

Student athletes such as Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow have become plugged into I Am Second as well, and Kelley and Culpepper hope to get Baylor athletes to tell their stories.

Training for Baylor students interested in leading a small group will take place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the Beckham room of the Bill Daniel Student Center (SUB), though the training is not mandatory. Anyone can start a small group.

Discussion guides can be downloaded from the I Am Second website, where materials are provided for students to organize and start a small group at their own discretion. Although training is not mandatory, Kelley highly suggests those interested attend.

“Getting trained by the people who have already been through the process might be a little more helpful,” Kelley said.

Krista Pirtle contributed to this story.