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MCF HISTORY

Lead Campus Minister

Mike Kerrick 

 

  Mike came to MCF in 2008 after several years of youth and college ministry within the local church.  He grew up with a blend of Baptist and Roman Catholic heritages, settling in the Restoration Movement churches (what a natural fit).  He attended Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology before transferring to Milligan University, where he received a BA in Bible.  He went on to Emmanuel Christian Seminary and received a general MDiv degree.  He has served on the mission field in Mexico, Brazil, and Kenya!  He ministered with college ministries and rural churches in IL, IN and TN as well as with suburban churches in the Chicago area. 

  He enjoys food of all kinds, sports of all kinds (Go Cubs Go!), stories of all kinds, movies of all kinds, music of all kinds and never turns down a cup of coffee. 

 

 His passion in ministry is to see people go deeper in their love and understanding and life with Jesus through real healthy relationships, spiritual formation and community living. 

 

  Mike has been married over 20 years to Dr. Sarah Pierson Kerrick, whom he met at Milligan.  Sarah has worked at Murray State's Counseling Center as a Psychologist, but has now started her own psychological assessment practice.  She is a wonderful mother, mentor, cook, gardener, volleyball player and friend.  Sarah participates in the Women's Discipleship ministry of MCF when she can. 

 

 Peter and Joel are active in soccer and baseball (Pete is in swimming too). They enjoy Legos, playing the PS4/Wii and Minecraft and being brothers and big BIG brothers to Rebecca.  As the little brother, Joel is wanting to do everything Pete does.  He also likes Angry Birds Star Wars (both on the iPad as well as the figurines - well and anything else he can imagine knocking down those mean pigs!).  Both boys love stories, reading and getting dirty outside.  Little sister Rebecca Avalyn joined them in the Spring of 2014!  She is a bundle of joy, energy and can that girl dance, sing and cook!!!  It will be exciting to see what she continues to bring to the family! 

 

Associate Women's Minister

Monica West 

 

  Monica West came to MCF in spring of 2021.  She got her Bachelors of Science from Purdue University in General Biology, and has lived all over the country.  After volunteering for years with MCF, God called her into full time ministry as the first Women's Minister in MCF history. 

 

Monica is a self-proclaimed nerd and loves reading, sci-fi, fantasy, and being outdoors.  She dabbles (badly) in gardening, and loves drinking tea with friends.

She is married to Jordan, with a little one on the way!

MCF is predominantly sponsored by churches affiliated with the Restoration Movement. The Restoration Movement began in Kentucky in the 1800's around a principle that if Christians would use the Bible as their basis for faith and practice, denominational fighting would die away, and we would see a restoration of the original New Testament model for the Church.  One motto adopted by the founders of this faith movement is this: In essentials unity; in nonessentials liberty; in all things love.  These churches, often called the Independent Christian Churches, are non-denominational. They began to plant campus ministries in the '60s all throughout the Midwest.  

Dean Ross, the first campus minister at MCF, has written a brief history of the ministry in his own words: 

 

"In the month of April [1971] I started my ministry here with Murray Christian Fellowship.  The ministry met in the stucco building at the corner of Olive and 14th.  The students that were involved were from Independent Christian Churches of Western Kentucky. There were about 25-30 students. We were paying rent for the building where the fellowship met.  It was suggested to use our rent money to purchase our own property.  The present property of MCF was on the market to be sold.  Money was collected for a down payment, and we moved in for the next school year.  Area men came in at night and put paneling in the basement with ceiling tile.  We started the school year out in our new building with students living upstairs to help pay the mortgage. 

 

"The ministry consisted of college students and families of the community and professors.  Worship was held every Sunday morning with Bible classes for the children.  The Murray Christian Church was the name of the adult fellowship, and Murray Christian Fellowship was the campus ministry.  There were studies during the week for all ages.  Fellowship meals were held once a month at the campus house, which students responded to very well.  Growth was achieved and 'the Back' worship room was added for more space.  It became a later need for the adults to have their own facilities and ministry.  They moved to the location of Glendale and 16th, planting Christian Community Church.  The campus ministry was on its own as just a campus ministry. 

 

"There are only 15 Independent Christian Churches in the western third of the state. Three of these ran over 100 in attendance.  MCF reached out on campus to not only the students from Independent Christian Churches but to all students regardless of their church background.   

 

We used at least three slogans over the years to get our message out:  

 

"We are not the only Christians, but we are Christians only",  

"We are showing how Jesus relates to everyday life",  

and "A Christ-centered ministry based on the Bible".  

 

From this came questions of all kinds, ranging from how does Jesus Christ relate to science, to art, wildlife biology, etc.  Also just about every question concerning denominationalism came up.  All these questions made me develop students to meet the needs of students.  I also sought help in the summers for added preparations for these classes at Lincoln Christian College. This produced classes entitled Christian Apologetics, How We Got Our Bible, How to Study the Bible, What is Biblical Faith, Sermon on the Mount, Multiculturalism and 1 Corinthians, and The Jesus of History is the Christ of Faith.  All of these classes were offered in rotation of three to four years so the students could get a working faith that could meet the challenge the students were facing in the liberal and atheistic classes taught at the university.  From these classes students have gone on from MSU and MCF to be faithful parents, Bible School teachers, Bible literature writers, campus ministers, ministers, military chaplains, nurses, doctors, professors, missionaries, elders, deacons, and even a U.S. Congressman. 

 

"We were moved by Frances Schaeffer and C. Everett Coop about the abortion issue through their book Whatever Happened to the Human Race?.  Our good neighbor, Miss Roberta Whitnah, decided to sell her property to MCF.  We purchased the property for the purpose of establishing an alternative to abortion.  From this small effort the Life House Crisis Pregnancy Ministry developed for the Murray community.  MCF owns the property, but gave it to Life House to use.  This has grown tremendously in this community, reaching across denominational lines, becoming self-supporting. 

 

"God has blessed this ministry through the years. All the properties are paid off, and we have been debt free for several years. 

"The campus ministry also sponsored mission trips to Haiti, Mexico, and to Cookson Hills Children's Home.  These have proved to be so educational and faith-stretching that it should be noted on the student's diploma.  For example, a two-week trip to Haiti helps teach the students about the negative effects of materialism and the virtuous practices of hospitality and generosity.  Through these kind of experiences, the campus ministry has returned students to their home church better prepared for leadership in their church or in the church wherever they will live.  We have also participated in leadership conferences, campus ministry retreats, and conventions. 

"MCF was developed to be under the sponsorship of a Board of Directors from supporting Independent Christian Churches. These men and women are elected to rotating terms. These directors handle the finances and general direction of the ministry. They serve as a board much like a board of elders to in the local church. The students have one representative to this board also. 

 

"MCF is a vital arm of the church. It has influenced people throughout the state of Kentucky and other states. It has reached out to countries like Kenya, the Phillipines, Germany, and India. The latest but not the greatest was the election of Bill Redmon to the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of New Mexico. Bill graduated from Lincoln Christian College after attending MCF, and was in ministry in Santa Fe, New Mexico. These are examples of what God can do with people who are serious about the Kingdom of God. From a small campus ministry, many areas of the world are affected for Christ. MCF has shown how Jesus Christ relates to everyday life to the uttermost parts of the earth." - Dean Ross 

Dean Ross retired in July, 1996. MCF hired Brian Baldwin as the new campus minister. Brian grew up in Jackson, TN. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and both the M.Div. and D.Min. from Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan, Johnson City, TN. 

One of Brian's legacies at  MCF has been the involvement Christian Missionary Fellowship, sending a team every other year to Campinas, Brazil.  When not going to South America, they have developed a similar relationship with Lifeline Christian Mission's Red Sands Christian School in Winslow, AZ, sending a team to work with Navajo children. 

As mentioned by Dean Ross above, the Life House Crisis Pregnancy ministry has built a new facility, and no longer occupies the building next door. MCF partnered with Cornerstone Coffeehouse to provide a "neutral ground" for Christians and non-Christians alike to hang out and enjoy excellent coffee. After that season of ministry, MCF began to rent out rooms to female students, making it financially possible for several students to stay in school over the years as well as becoming deeply involved with the daily ministry of MCF. 

 

In 2008, after 12 years of ministry at MCF, Brian received a call to become the professor of Youth and Family Ministries at Kentucky Christian College. After much prayer, the Board called Mike Kerrick to serve as the campus minister. Mike grew up in Paris, IL. He received a B.A. in Bible from Milligan College, TN. He went on to attend Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan in Johnson, TN, where he earned a Master of Divinity. He is married to Sarah (Pierson) Kerrick and they are the parents of Pierson, Joel, and Rebecca.  His prayer is to continue the great tradition of ministering to the students of Murray State. 

 

Part of the ministry under Mike is the expansion of the missions' experience for the students.  MCF has a three year cycle of missions: out of country, Red Sands Christian School with Lifeline, and then an inner city Spring Break trip to one of the larger metropolitan areas that MCF students come from.

STAFF

Our confession of faith at MCF is simply this: 

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. 

 

The roots of our confession are:   

 

What we believe: 

 

We believe in the One True Living God, who is eternal, constant and unchanging (Psalm 41:13), who creates and sustains the universe, the world, all of life (Psalm 121, 146; John 1:1ff); who has absolute power, knowledge, wisdom and authority (Ephesians 1:20-22); who is intimate, personal and relational (Psalm 139, John 15: 9-17); who has been revealed in the flesh through Jesus and dwells with humanity through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14). 

 

We believe in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came in the flesh to save the world  (Matthew 16:16; John 3:16-17; Luke 2:11; John 10:30 & 20:28). As planned and foretold by God to redeem all of creation (Luke 24:25-27), Jesus was born of a virgin, was executed by crucifixion, buried for 3 days, and came back to life again (Romans 1:1-7). His death was the final atoning sacrifice (the ultimate act of reconcilitation between God and humanity) for our sins, and it is through Him that we have a reconciled relationship with God (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). He lives now, exalted and mediating for all of humanity at the right hand of God (Philippians 2:10-11; Hebrews 8:1-3). 

 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the dwelling presence of God in our lives existing as Helper/Counselor and Advocate/Advisor (John 14:16-17) given to us by God through Jesus as a gift for the purpose of our ongoing relationship with God (John 16:5-15) by interceding on our behalf to God (Romans 8). The Spirit enlightens our minds – awakening in us our need for a Savior. At the point of salvation, the Spirit indwells every believer – giving them eternal life, equipping them for personal growth and bearing the “fruit” of Jesus’ character (Galatians 5:22-23) for ongoing community relationships and for personal service/ministry within the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) and in the world (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:8). 

 

What we teach: 

We teach that the Bible is God’s written word that contains the Divine Story of God’s unique actions toward and interactions with people and the world (2 Timothy 3:16-18; Hebrews 4:12-13). Also known as the Holy Scriptures, the Bible is recognized and preserved by the church under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit throughout history (1 Cor 2:12-13); it is authoritative and true and is our rule/guide for faith and action in relationships (Romans 15:4). 

We teach that salvation is totally dependent on the work of God. In salvation, a person experiences restored and renewed life and a reconciled relationship with God (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16); it is a free gift of love from God (John 3:16) made real through Jesus who died for the forgiveness of our sins. This gift can be received by believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior, repenting of sins, publically confessing Jesus as Savior, and submitting to Jesus as Lord – expressed through baptism and a life of following Jesus (John 20:31; Acts 2:22-41; Romans 2:7 & 10:9). Through Jesus we receive eternal life (John 10:27-29; 1 Timothy 1:16) 

We teach an eternal destiny for everyone. For all people, there will be a resurrection of the body and a judgment that will reveal the fate of each individual (1 Corinthians 15:19). Based on one’s relationship with God during life, those in a reconciled relationship with God will be raised to eternal life with God (John 3:36, 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14, 5:10), and those who have rejected God will experience judgment and everlasting separation from God (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:29).  

 

What we celebrate: 

We celebrate the gathering of all believers in the name of Jesus, sharing and encouraging life together in our worship of God, love of Jesus and life in the Spirit. As adopted children of God (Romans 8), we celebrate both the Lord’s Supper and Baptism, which signifies the fellowship and identification with the Church – the visible body of Christ (Ephesians 3:5-7).  We care for each other, we confess to one another in prayer and worship, and we experience re-creation in our activities of play and fun, so that in all we do, we do for the glory of God (Acts 2:37-47; 1 Peter 4:10-12; Hebrews 3:12-13 & 10:24-25).  

We celebrate the Lord’s Supper openly with all who profess Jesus as Lord. It is the divine interaction of the presence and rememberance of Jesus, honoring and proclaming his promises made real through his crucifixion and resurrection (Matthew 26:26-30; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34). We also teach that the elements of communion are spiritually real as the representative of the flesh and blood of Christ (John 6:26-69), and that the Lord’s Supper is an actual communion with the risen Christ, who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with His people (1 Corinthians 10:16). In the pattern of the early church, we offer the Lord’s Supper weekly (Acts 2:42-47 & 20:7). 

We celebrate Baptism as a spiritually real act of obedience (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38-42) through the outward participation in the life, death (burial) and resurrection of Jesus based on the inward belief and submission to Jesus as Lord ––beautifully expressed through immersion in water (Mark 16:15-16; Romans 6:2-4; 1 Peter 3:18-22).  

What we honor: 

 

We honor singleness as a commendable lifestyle of relationship with others (1 Corinthians 7) and marriage as a sacred spiritual and social union between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Hebrews 13:4). 

We honor the affirmation of a person’s faith commitment through personal Bible study and understanding, Christian Confirmation/education in the local church and corporate moments when we confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (John 20:19-31, Luke 24:31-35). 

We honor the ordination of all believers who respond to the Spirit’s leading for ministry according to their gifts, skills and passions (Acts 13:2-3; 1 Corinthians 12 -13). 

 

We honor the annointing of the sick as a means to come as a community, humbly before God requesting health and wholeness (James 5:13-15). 

We are a fellowship supported by individuals who have a history and/or an existing relationship with MCF (Alumni and Friends of MCF). The churches that support MCF are of the 19th - Century Reformation movement in America (Christian Churches, Churches of Christ, Disciples of Christ). 

CONFESSION STATEMENT

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