By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
ARNOLD, Md.—Eric Reiber, BCM/D campus minister for Anne Arundel Community College (ACCC), is raring to begin ministering for this school semester. Last year, Reiber’s first at AACC, he spent most of his time getting to know students and teachers and in building relationships and trust. But even during those initial two semesters, Reiber was amazed the way God blessed. He started with about five young adults and ended with 20.
“I got to see a couple students commit their lives to Christ and a few made rededications,” Reiber said. “That was fantastic.”
One student, the young campus minister said, started coming to Bible study, got to know people and made a commitment. She continued to attend the studies and is growing in her faith.
Another student accepted Christ after spending time with Reiber while he tutored her in the math lab. The two had talked off and on and the conversations became serious. She asked about getting involved in the Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) and eventually made a confession of faith.
Reiber said one young man came to the BCM meetings as a baby Christian who was trying to live in both worlds.
“Early in the year he had talked to me about planning to live a double lifestyle,” Reiber said. As the boy continued to attend Bible study, and as Reiber challenged him, the student began to truly grow.
“Later he became an outreach leader and he shares what God has done in his life on campus,” Reiber said.
Reiber led students in local missions including working with Habitat for Humanity, helping churches with parents’ night out, and giving away Finals Survival Kits on campus.
Three students took international mission trips with their churches over the summer.
This semester, Reiber expects about 20 returning students. He said he’s thrilled to begin the semester knowing the young adults and having some relationships already built.
Last year he began “shotgun Bible studies,” student-led studies at different times in multiple sites and plans to use them again.
“It’s the best way to go,” Reiber said. The students aren’t staying on campus like at a university and they usually work at night. Reiber said it’s hard to schedule just one study at a specific location.
This year, Reiber will focus on fellowship. He is planning local social outings including a trip to Washington D.C. to foster friendship and growth. He also wants to get the students out in the community and to be more visible. The BCM will host a campus-wide night out at a local Mexican restaurant. Reiber said hosting such an event gets the BCM name “out there.” He’s hoping BCM students will invite their friends and that others on campus will join in.
“This is their mission field,” Reiber said.
“We have a tendency to hide ourselves,” he said. “I want them to be thinking of being the vine that grows and spreads out in its community.”
Reiber is thankful to the churches that support him and the ministry. He said one of the BCM functions is to connect students with churches.
“We talk to them try to find a good fit for them,” Reiber said. He stresses that though they work with the churches, he wants to disciple the students and help them see themselves as missionaries on the campus, making the BCM the church’s arm at AACC.
Reiber was born in St. Mary’s County. He graduated from Virginia Tech, where he was heavily involved with the BCM. Prior to coming to AACC he served as a campus minister at Lock Haven. He and his wife, Kate, attend The Church on Warren Avenue in Baltimore.