Missouri Baptist University: Legacy of light, hope in St. Louis - Word&Way

Missouri Baptist University: Legacy of light, hope in St. Louis

Once described as the London of the American West, St. Louis has more recently been crowned a city of hope and hurt.

Merely 110 years later after the 1904 World’s Fair and Olympics, the events in Ferguson brought St. Louis to the world’s attention once again but this time highlighting the wounds haunting the city.

Missouri Baptist University founders knew the city was in deep need of Christ’s light and messengers to share hope to the shadows where the mainstream do-gooders hesitated to touch.

These missionaries do not need to travel the world to share Christ’s hope and love to the hurting, they simply help and build relationships with those next door.

Here are three of MBU’s St. Louis luminaries:

Will Nunn (right) works with students. (MBU)Will Nunn (right) works with students. (MBU)For Will Nunn, a Doctor of Education student who holds other MBU education degrees, the call to move and become a missionary was not to some strange country but to south St. Louis.

Nunn is an English teacher at Bernard Middle School, a church leader and life group leader.

From simply visiting with neighbors to hosting life groups and church events within the refugee community, Nunn has seen God continue to open doors for his ministry opportunities. His authentic and Christ-centric lifestyle ministers to those who otherwise might not accept the gospel.

Nunn’s weekly life group provides an authentic safe haven for those with lives of hurt to find healing. Neighbors under heavy bondage of addiction have been redeemed, and the lost have been found in Christ.

Brook Raye examines a young patient. (MBU)Brook Raye examines a young patient. (MBU)Brook Raye, a 2007 grad with a B.S. in biology and a minor in missions, greets and provides medical treatment for refugees from around the world who now call St. Louis home.

Raye is a nurse practitioner for St. Louis Institute for Family Medicine, a non-profit healthcare provider offering radically subsidized costs for those without health insurance.

With locations throughout St. Louis, the Institute meets those in need in their own neighborhoods.

From neighborhood based clinics to serving as a primary care nurse practitioner for a refugee school, Raye helps children transition to a new healthcare system and to their new home.

Mark Maclin visits with high school students.Mark Maclin visits with high school students. (MBU)Mike Maclin, a doctor of education student with multiple education and communications degrees from MBU, is the principal of University City High School.

In recent years, University City High has experienced times of turmoil and turnover. Leadership and teachers came and left, while the education and future of students suffered.

Maclin stepped aboard as principal in 2012 with a clear vision of hope for the struggling school.

With him at the helm, innovative academic programs have launched, including journalism, fine arts, Project Lead the Way,  an engineering program, and computer science.

With these efforts, combined with trust- and character-building efforts, the current 90-percent graduation rate defies the expectation of a public urban school.

This is one of a seies of ministry impact articles that appeared in Word & Way. The section contains stories from organizations and institutions that were invited to share how they were impacting a life, a group or a community.