MC Students Tout Christian University’s Ministerial Instruction to Education Commission
Dakota Murphree dreams of one day becoming a minister, serving as a Baptist Student Union director, and owning an actual ranch that could be used as a retreat center for local churches.
Hannah Quigley, president of the BSU at Mississippi College, aims to serve the Lord in whatever ministry He leads her to in the future.
Murphree, a senior business administration major, and Quigley, a senior Christian Studies major, credit Mississippi College for helping set them on the path to achieving their long-term ministerial goals.
They each shared their testimonies with high-ranking leaders of the Mississippi Baptist Convention and presidents and administrators of Blue Mountain College, MC, and William Carey University during the Education Commission meeting Jan. 14. Originally scheduled for the Clinton campus, the event took place virtually in deference to the rise in Omicron variant COVID-19 cases throughout the state.
The Commission cultivates the interest of Mississippi Baptists on behalf of Christian higher education, strengthens the colleges of Mississippi Baptists and unifies their efforts in the Convention program of Christian higher education, and makes recommendations through the Convention Board to the Convention concerning all cooperative efforts in the field of Christian higher education, among other responsibilities.
The pair of MC students is actually a couple: Murphree and Quigley have been dating for several months, and the prospect of a future professing the Lord’s saving grace together strengthens their hopes – and their commitment to each other.
“I’m so thankful the Lord has been able to use our very new relationship,” said Murphree, who serves as vice president of the BSU. “Someone told me one time, whoever you decide to marry, you need to be able to do ministry better with them than do ministry without them.
“Being able to know the Lord is able to use us and our relationship for His glory in a bigger way is something I thank Him for often.”
Murphree told the commission he was in his last semester studying business at Hinds Community College when he felt called to go into the ministry. A meeting at church on his last Sunday at Hinds helped lead him to Mississippi College.
“I met Wes Wroten, the college pastor at First Baptist Church Clinton, and made friends with him and other MC students,” Murphree said. “I went to MC’s BSU, I did a lot of praying, I talked to a lot of people, and I decided to go into Christian Studies at MC.”
That decision came with a formidable obstacle for Murphree: how to afford his continuing education.
“I didn’t know how I was going to pay for it,” he said. “I prayed, ‘Lord, I felt like You called me to come here, but I don’t exactly know how.’ But the Lord provided for me to be here.”
Through scholarships and other financial assistance opportunities, Murphree was able to attend MC. He now serves as an intern for Wroten at First Baptist Church.
“What the Lord has been able to do through my life is incredible,” Murphree said. “I’m blessed with a Christian community and good friends who are important to me spiritually.
“I’ve been able to speak with pastors about my call to the ministry. This University has propped me up and prepared me to be not only an efficient addition to the workforce, but also a disciple.”
He said his interest in ranching stems from his background. Hailing from the rural town of Vardaman, Murphree served as president of the Mississippi student chapter of Future Farmers of America while he was in high school.
“I’ve always loved engaging with God’s creation in a lot of ways,” he said. “Wanting a ranch, I have the desire to provide for others, my community, and my family, and also to possibly use it for ministry. It sounds so exciting.
“MC is a great institution. The professors are very knowledgeable in their field, but also, the community and the institution are built on a foundation of following the will of God. You see that when you go to class devotionals, when you go to events on campus, in what your friends talk about. It definitely prepares you for going out and doing ministry.”
He concluded his presentation by quoting Philippians 1: 20-21: “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (NIV)
A native of Meridian, Quigley told the commission she surrendered her life to the Lord at 12 when she recognized that she was living in a broken world.
“I had some bitterness towards my home life,” Quigley said, “but after meeting the Lord, He turned that bitterness into peace and joy, and I have been so blessed to live with Him ever since.”
Referencing the Great Commission, she said one of the biggest testaments to the Lord’s faithfulness in her life occurred during her freshman year at MC.
“I had never been discipled before,” she said, “but an upperclassman decided to pour into me and other freshmen girls and teach us how to make disciples of all nations as we are called to in Matthew 28.”
A biology pre-med major at the time, Quigley said she felt the Lord calling her to give her life to ministry.
“I was terrified of this, because I did not think I was equipped for such a task,” she admitted. “But I eventually decided to step out in faith and trust that the Lord would provide and guide me through. He sure did!”
She switched her major to Christian Studies and never looked back. Currently a student intern at Wynndale Baptist Church, she is an avid participant in summer mission trips and Christian youth camps.
“The (Christian Studies) professors have been nothing short of phenomenal,” she said. “They’ve taught me so much about ministry and the Scriptures and have given me life advice about working in churches.
“The BSU on campus has also played a huge role in my spiritual growth. They welcomed me in my freshman year and challenged me to seek the Lord during my time at college. I have the awesome privilege of serving as their president this year, and it has been amazing to see how God has used our ministry to further His kingdom.”
She said Mississippi College has equipped her with all the tools she needs to be successful in spreading the good news about Christ.
“Not only has MC prepared me for ministry now, but I believe wholeheartedly that the time I have spent here at MC has definitely prepared me for whatever ministry I find myself in the future,” she said.