College Ministry


Marita Avilez

Missouri Valley College

Ministry:The Bridge Collegiate Ministry at Missouri Valley College
Role: Campus Missionary
Mission Statement Our mission is to bridge Missouri Valley and Mizzou students to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Body in partnership with local churches. We do this by:
  • Discipling them to grow in their relationship with Jesus
  • Equipping them with the tools to live with a biblical worldview
  • Connecting them to a local church body
Tell us about your journey to becoming a Campus Missionary.I have always had a passion for college students. After graduating college, I moved back home and started a college ministry at my home church. The next year, my husband and I moved to another church to lead their youth group but still adopted college students through his job at Missouri Valley College (MVC). In 2016, I started working at MVC and was able to connect better with students, and in 2019 Scott Westfall started The Bridge Collegiate Ministry. My husband and I supported the ministry in different ways. In the fall of 2020, the Lord was leading me to quit my job at MVC, and Scott started talking to me about coming on staff with The Bridge. I attended the MBCollegiate Prospective Staff weekend and knew this is what I was being called to do. I came on staff in January of 2021.
What do you love about doing ministry on your campus?I love seeing God work in the lives of these students and how they shine their light to others around them.
Tell us about yourself and your family.I graduated from Southwest Baptist University and moved back to my hometown of Marshall to marry Alex, who attended MVC, in 2013. We aren't able to have children but have adopted many college students over the years. I also work as the ministry assistant for our church association. I enjoy connecting the college ministry to the local churches and helping coordinate joint mission opportunities for the two groups.
What do you hope to see happen on your campus/within your ministry in the next few years?I'd love to see our leadership team grow in knowledge and boldness to be leading the outreach and discipleship initiative for the ministry.
What are some of the things your ministry does?Thursday nights we have a large group meeting with a time of worship and Bible teaching. On Sunday nights, we serve a free meal and have small groups. Monthly, we participate in the Missouri Valley Baptist Association's 2nd Saturday Serve service project. Our group usually offers several mission trips each year.