Former student becomes assistant director of BSM

by BRANDI ORTIZ//News Editor

Sometimes the unexpected decisions are the best decisions.

Jennifer Patterson, a former South Plains College student, has recently become the interim director at the Baptism Student Ministry (BSM).

While Patterson was at SPC, she got her associate’s degree in science, then attended Texas Tech University to graduate with a degree in exercise sport science. Her life since then has been moving quite fast.

“In July, I got married,” says Patterson. “A month later, I graduated from Texas Tech.”

She also recently just bought a house in Morton, Texas with her husband Luke, who she met at the BSM, where he also proposed to her.

Becoming the BSM director had never been in the plans for Patterson.

“This is definitely God’s doing,” she explains.

With having a previous relationship with the former director, Shannon Rutherford, Patterson was able to return to the BSM to help with their weekly 50 cents lunch.

“After lunch, we (Jennifer and Shannon) were cleaning and began to discuss the leaving of Shannon’s assistant, Jacob,” Jennifer recalls.

At the BSM, assistants are only allowed to stay for two years, due to the Baptist General Convention of Texas regulations, according to Patterson.

While discussing Jacob’s leaving, the question of who would take over came up, and Shannon began to drop hints, major hints, Patterson says. It was only with the help of Jacob, that she finally realized Shannon was asking her to take over.

“I was completely oblivious,” says Patterson.

Interim Director, Jennifer Patterson, in front of the BSM building across from the Levelland Campus on Sept. 26. BRANDI ORTIZ / PLAINSMAN PRESS
Interim Director, Jennifer Patterson, in front of the BSM building across from the Levelland Campus on Sept. 26.

She was hesitant at first to take the offer, due to her plans to get an online teaching certificate. But after a discussion with her husband, she decided it was a fit for her.

“We just prayed about it for a while,” Patterson says. “I decided that I could just take online classes while being the assistant.”

After a chain of events, Jennifer was given the opportunity to take over the BSM until they can find a permanent director.

“The Lord led Shannon to the University of Houston, to be the BSM director there,” Patterson explains.

Since Rutherford’s departure, Patterson began to question whether she wanted to continue to be the assistant.

“Shannon was one of my reasons to do this,” says Patterson. “I don’t think I want to be here anymore.”

After some advice from her husband, Patterson was certain that the Lord knew what He was doing, and decided to stay.

“I am sort of taking on two jobs at once,” she says. “We have yet to hire a new director.”

The board is having a meeting on October 9 to decide who will take over the BSM. But until then, Jennifer will happily serve as interim director. But the chance of her becoming the permanent director is always a possibility for her.

“I do not have a seminary background,” says Patterson, “but since I was a student here, and I understand how the BSM works, it makes me a little more qualified to be the director.”

If presented with the chance to become permanent, Patterson says that she would love to take it but would need to discuss it with her husband.

“We would definitely have to pray about it,” she said. “It is a lot more responsibility, so I would need to think about it.”

Since returning, Jennifer says she feels this is where she belongs.

“I just really feel at peace here,” says Patterson.

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