C
hanging directions is not
uncommon for today’s
university students, but for
religion major Joshua Haymes,
his time at William Carey University has
brought quite a lot of change—positive
change. The Oklahoma native arrived
at Carey almost by chance, and now he
tells others from his home state about the
wonderful opportunity and wholesome
atmosphere he has grown to love at
WCU.
While visiting a friend in Picayune,
near where his father had previously
served as pastor, Josh’s friend encouraged
him to visit Carey and audition for a
theatre scholarship. Having participated in
high school theatre programs and wanting
to pursue a career in theatre, Josh came
to the school, auditioned, and received
a scholarship that enticed him to leave
Oklahoma to study in Hattiesburg.
When he began at Carey, Josh admits
that his focus was not initially on his
studies—or his faith. Having grown up
in the home of a pastor, he knew about
religion, but up to this point, he had never
committed his life to Christ. “I grew up in
church, prayed a prayer at 10,” said Josh,
“but I lived two separate lives.” Josh went
on to say that the rebellion against his
faith culminated during his freshman year
at Carey. His Baptist Student Union (BSU)
friends and mentors on campus reached
out to him during this difficult time,
and Josh had a life-changing salvation
experience.
“After he made me into a new creation
according to Romans 12, God started
reorienting every part of my life,” said
Josh. “It was awesome.” As part of this
reorientation, Josh changed his major
to religion and changed his focus to
international missions, a passion shared
by the namesake of William Carey
University.
Josh continues to involve himself in
BSU activities. He serves on the BSU
lead team and takes every opportunity to
lead worship and share the Gospel with
others. He has traveled with a mission
team to Chile and has two upcoming trips
planned for missionary work in Asia. “The
BSU has had a huge impact on me, giving
me experience with ministry, getting me
involved with something that is bigger
than I am,” said Josh.
In addition to his friends in BSU, Josh
says he values the friendships that he has
established campus wide. “I’m involved
with every intramural sport there is,” he
said, and his involvement in campus
activities has given him an opportunity
to share his testimony with his peers.
During this past academic year, Josh led
his roommate to Christ, an experience he
described as the “greatest of the year.”
The summer after his freshman year,
Josh returned home to Tulsa, Okla., for the
summer and reunited with a childhood
friend, Brandon Crow, who also felt the
call to missions. “I encouraged him to
come to Carey,” said Josh, “but he was
unsure. Two days before I left to come
back to school, though, he decided
to come, packed up, and came to
Mississippi!” Josh said the admissions
process went very smoothly for Brandon
and his classes began soon after he
arrived. The following summer when
Josh and Brandon returned home, they
convinced Brandon’s brother and sister,
Ryan and Haley, to apply to Carey, and
they, too, have come to WCU.
Josh continues to spread the good
news of William Carey University in
Oklahoma, and next year, Josh’s brother,
his brother’s girlfriend, and another family
friend plan to enroll in Carey. “Besides
getting a great education, the environment
at Carey is incredible,” said Josh. “I’ve met
some of the best people here, people who
actually care. The teachers are not here
just to give you an education, but to make
you into a better person.”
WCU Student
Encourages
Fellow
Oklahomans to
Pictured are (left to right) Brandon Crow, Ryan Crow, Joshua Haymes, and Hailey Crow.
Join Him at Carey
4
| Carey Magazine
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