The Gospel And Pancakes: 14 Reasons To Visit Columbus Avenue Baptist Church

The Gospel And Pancakes: 14 Reasons To Visit Columbus Avenue Baptist Church

This church could save your life (literally).

There are 70 Baptist churches in Waco, Texas. That’s right... 70! At the beginning of my freshman year, I church hopped for a while but finally found my home at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church. Today, my prayer for you is that this article invites you to come and explore all that Columbus has to offer.

Here are just a few perks and reasons to come to Columbus next Sunday!

1. Free pancakes.

For college students without a weekend meal plan (me), this is a lifesaver! Homemade chocolate chip and buttermilk pancakes are offered every Sunday morning during college ministry at 9:45 a.m. Be sure to say hi to Bobby! He’s one of the kind men who wake up bright and early to prepare pancakes.

2. Bible-centered messages.

This is key. The college ministry and church service messages are always centered around God’s word. Currently, we are studying the book of Romans.

3. Justin and Josh.

Justin, our college minister, is friendly and delivers insightful and convicting messages. He will take the time to learn your name and pray with you. Fun fact: He and his wife are expecting in June! Josh, our church pastor, is the heart of Columbus. His sermons encourage all of us to further our relationship with Christ and evangelize to others.

4. Breakfast tacos and small group bible studies.

Within college ministry, we sign up for a small group bible study that meets regularly once a week. Adult couples within the church host these studies within their home and cook us delicious homemade meals, including desserts! My favorite meals that Stacy (our host home adult) makes are breakfast tacos and chicken noodle soup. Her banana pudding, monster cookies, and cinnamon rolls are delicious!

5. Lucy.

Our host home family, Stacy and Bobby, have a precious malti-poo dog that is extremely lovable. Sometimes, you’ll even catch her wearing a bow!

6. Family feel.

Columbus is home to young families, elderly people, and college students. Everyone is welcome! The contemporary service is home to roughly 200 members and the traditional service is also home to around 200 members. Once a month, both services join together for a large combined service. You will likely recognize old faces and meet new ones each Sunday!

7. Eye candy.

Columbus has been around since 1901, and today the red brick, ornate pillars, towering steeple, and delicate mosaic glass windows are part of this church’s breathtaking building.

8. Worship time.

MacKenzie Rock belongs on The Voice. She leads worship with a small band, and I love the praises we dedicate to God as a church.

9. Free candy.

Columbus hosts several community events throughout the year including Trunk or Treat and an Easter Egg Hunt. College students are always invited to participate in the fun!

11. Servicio en Español.

Each Sunday, a Spanish service is offered separately from the traditional and contemporary service. Columbus is home to a diverse community; all are welcome!

12. Retreats, retreats, retreats.

Columbus’ college ministry offers a Fall and Spring retreat that is an opportunity for students to connect with each other while camping out in tents and hammocks and eating s’mores by the fire together. Retreats allow you to further your connection with God while being cut off from the stress of school. Fun fact: I went cliff jumping for the first time during Fall Retreat!

13. Little ones.

A few weeks ago, my friends and I taught a class of second and fifth graders! They were incredibly cute, energetic, and fun to spend time with!

14. Denia, Spain.

Each Spring Break, Columbus offers an extremely affordable mission trip to their partner church in Denia, Spain. College students have the opportunity to teach and minister to younger students at Columbus’ church school.

Cover Image Credit: @avenuewaco / Instagram

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.

Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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Why I Gave Up Nothing For Lent

Adding. Not Subtracting.


Chocolate eggs and jelly beans! Growing up, Easter meant candy. The Easter Bunny delightfully left behind a treasure of treats for my little brother and me. In recent years, however, I have come to understand the spiritual importance of the celebration and the period leading up to it.

I am Roman Catholic -- always have been and probably, always will be. As a Catholic, Lent is a meaningful season of sacrifice. It is the 40-day period before Easter, symbolizing Jesus' withdrawal and fasting in the desert for 40 days. Following Christ's example, Lent is a period of self-discipline, fasting, and reflection for each of us. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, and culminates on Good Friday, the day Jesus' crucifixion is commemorated. Good Friday also begins the Triduum, three holy days leading up to Easter Sunday. Easter is the celebration of Jesus rising from the dead—a miracle on Earth.

In simpler days, making a Lenten sacrifice was about giving up something I loved—whether it was pasta or chocolate. I never really committed to it and my parents were pretty loose about rules. They just cared about whether I understood the concept of Lent and Easter and tried my best to be mindful of sacrifice. Only this year, I started a different type of Lenten tradition that has been successful, thus far. I believe my personal triumph is because I will be confirmed in my Catholic faith at the end of April, and I am growing stronger as a person because of it.

Instead of giving up something for Lent, I decided to add an activity to my weekly routine: Scripture reading and reflection writing. Just like we read for school, I am reading for my spiritual self. We learn history, life lessons, and more about ourselves from reading, interpreting, and writing. I have committed to reading a devotional almost every day and examining the corresponding Biblical passages. From there, I write. It is one-hundred percent reflection writing, but I notice myself becoming open and having clearer thoughts.

It also helps that my grandfather runs a blog called "Celebrate the Psalms." On this blog, contributors around the world reflect on the week's Responsorial Psalm, which is featured in the upcoming Mass. Reflection questions are included in the blog and followers send in their answers as it pertains to their lives. My once-a-week commitment, while not a lot, becomes very therapeutic for me. I ponder and count my blessings.

While such reading and writing activities are not sacrificial in nature, they are adding so much to my Lenten journey. The added reflection I enjoy nurtures my soul. By the time Easter comes around, I am hoping my Lenten commitments will feel even more natural and integrated into everyday life. This way, I can enjoy those Easter chocolate candies without the guilt and with a knowing that God sees my dedication to Him and my willingness to learn.

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