Grace and Peace to you,
My name is Zach Dyrda. I am the returning Pastor and Director of Baptist Campus Ministry. I have been with BCM since I was in college at NIU since 2010. I have been witness to the love, grace, fellowship, and transformation this beautiful place has to offer. I am excited to be part of this ministry and excited to see what this new year brings.
As I said, I started coming to BCM in the summer of 2010. I was twenty-two years old. I had only been a Christian for a little over a year. My first day walking into BCM was during a summer service. It was a simple and basic service, but it was here that I felt the Holy Spirit wash over me and light the spark that made me the disciple of Jesus I am today. My life has been transformed by my experience and relationship with Jesus that was formed at Baptist Campus Ministry. I admit, when I first came to BCM I didn’t really know anything about the Bible, God, or Jesus. I was still unsure of what it meant to live as a disciple of Jesus in the world. I knew there was suppose to be change, but what kind? It was BCM, the pastors, the students, the staff, and faculty of NIU who worshiped with us were the ones to show me what it means to be truly human. By truly human I mean living life to the fullest. Living life the way the good Lord instended with love, compassion, and mercy. This wonderful ministry and the people in it, showed me a world not of a religion of “do nots,” but of a life full of abundance and freedom. I vow to work hard at continuing that same love, fellowship, and transformation as pastor of BCM.
Baptist Campus Ministry also sparked a huge passion of mine, the Bible. I am a man on fire for the Word. I believe the Bible can truly transform lives because it reveals Christ to us. The Bible invites us to know God and know the story of the people of God in ways that reveal to those that read who we are as humans, who we are meant to be as humans, and how God is inviting us into a life of love, wonder, and fellowship with Jesus, the trinity, and each other in radical ways. We will be having two new Bible studies this fall. The first is one to get those unfamiliar with Jesus a chance to explore him the words of the Apostles and to begin to see the story we are a part. The second Bible study will be for aiming to empower a whole new generation. We do not want to simply get them reading the Bible, but give them tools to navigate the scriptures so they can read it for all its worth and then share it with people. That’s right, we hope to empower others to lead their own studies of the Bible with their friends, family, and everyone else they meet.
I am also a family man. My wife Melissa was the person who evangelized to me and got me to come to BCM in the first place. It is at BCM, that our love took flight as a young couple. We centered our lives on Christ and made the Lord the rock of our relationship. While we were at BCM we were on the student leadership board and planed ministry events, helped in worship, and went to every event we could. Baptist Campus Ministry was our home away from home. Since our college days at BCM, our love has grown and so has our family. We have three wonderful children our eldest is furry the most children and a Cheweenie dog. We also have to young children a toddler and infant. Both kids are boys and full of energy. Although our friends and mentors at BCM could never replace our families, we never felt like we were not family when at BCM. I will work hard to continue that great loving, inviting, welcoming, and family atmosphere at the ministry.
On a more personal note, I am a card caring Bible nerd. I love talking Jesus and the scriptures with people. I am also a huge nerd in general. I love to go the movies, rent movies, or curl up on the couch and watch some classics. I am a Marvel Comics nerd. I have collected comics since I was a young kid and totally geek out about the movies like Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-man. To add to my nerdness I am also as Disney nerd, my wife and I went to Walt Disney World on our honeymoon and we have been Disney peeps ever since.
I look forward to greeting the new semester at Northern Illinois with much hope and promise. I look forward to seeing returning faces and meeting new friends. Most of all, I look forward to creating new memories for all of us to treasure for years to come.