Equip Campus Ministries has one boast: the grace of God. Equip was founded in the spring of 2005 by about 10 ambitious and passionate college students, who were eager to win any argument with an atheist. Now, more than 10 years later, God has humbled and blessed us. He has shown us that the gospel is the power unto salvation, not human wisdom.
Now, back to the beginning. In 2005, we were motivated to defend Christianity in response to a number of hostile and vocal atheists on campus, both faculty and students. As our passion grew, we began talking about forming an actual student group. There were many college ministries at SDSU already, but we had the unique desire to deal with the tough questions of outsiders, as well as a passion to educate Christians in a deep and lasting way. At that point, most of the weekly events centered around science and apologetics. By the fall of 2006, withstanding much opposition from faculty and students, Equip became an official student organization. What a milestone! Already, a deep conviction had grown that defending the faith wasn't enough. Equip must proclaim and explain it as well.
The early years that followed contained many milestones. In 2007, we moved off campus and into FBC (First Baptist Church). In 2008, Luke Perkins and a friend became Equip's first full-time staff members. Also that year, Equip became the ministry arm of FBC to SDSU. Then in 2009, Luke was alone on staff for a year. This was challenging, but God was kind to sanctify him through it, as well as continue to bless the ministry. In 2010, Brandon Pedersen, another founding member, moved his family back to Brookings, SD and became a full-time staff member with Equip. We could never express how grateful we are that God called Brandon to make this move!
Over the next several years, God continued to sustain us. What a privilege it's been to see so many students some to know Christ and grow in His stature during their short time at SDSU. In the fall of 2016, Brandon moved again, this time to Vermillion, SD to plant and Equip at the University of South Dakota under Grace Baptist Church. What an exciting transition! As I write this (summer of 2017), we have completed one year of laboring on two campuses. God proved that He indeed can do more than all we ask or think, and we continue to simply ask for more from the Giver of all grace.