Gene Austin

Late Director of Collegiate Ministries

Year you began working for MBC:
Year you started your current role with MBCollegiate:
In memory of Gene Austin
Gene Austin, long-time director of Collegiate Ministries for the MBC, died May 23, 2023, after a battle with cancer.

Austin served in Missouri Baptist collegiate ministry for 23 years, beginning in 2000 as a campus minister with the Baptist Student Union at Truman State University in Kirksville. Austin oversaw Missouri Baptist ministry efforts on 26 campuses across the state of Missouri. Of Austin’s passing, MBC Executive Director John Yeats said:

“Gene leaves a legacy of disciple-making across Missouri campuses, where he led an army of collegiate missionaries and epitomized servant leadership. Gene was a trusted colleague, friend, and confidant, a dad who loved his children and his precious wife, Vickie. A devoted follower of Jesus, Gene made wise decisions based on a deep love of God, God’s Word, and God’s people. He was faithful, kind, gentle, inquisitive, prudent, long-suffering, and loving. His vision of a gospel ministry on every college campus in our state continues in the ongoing labors of the mbCollegiate staff. I am deeply grateful for Gene’s friendship, and richer in so many ways for having served alongside him.”

Read more about Austin’s life and ministry in this article.

What does your job encompass?
I have the privilege of investing in Collegiate Ministers so they become faithful and effective in their setting. I believe apart from Jesus and His work, the leader of a ministry sets the culture and Kingdom impact for the ministry they lead.
Describe your journey to working for MBCollegiate in this capacity.
I felt called into ministry while serving in the U.S. Navy. I pastored two churches over 10 years. At the second church, my daughter, Kimberly, was part of the the Truman BSU and some of them came to work with our youth. I really enjoyed interacting with these college students and seemed to have a knack for connecting with them. The MBC was going through a restructure and the position came available in Northeast MO at Truman. I was hired, and after working directly on a campus for eight years, my role changed to a statewide responsibility. The decision was made to elevate the Collegiate Director position to a direct report to the Executive Director, and they asked me to fill this role.
Tell us about your family.
I married my wife, Vickie, in 1977. We started our family early and moved around a lot in the Navy. Toward the end of our kids' elementary years, we moved back to Missouri so I could finish seminary. The moving stopped, and our two oldest finished high school. Brian joined the Navy while Kimberly went to college. We enjoyed being empty nesters for several years but then were challenged to look into foster care. We received the training and began fostering children. One brother and sister we had stole our hearts, and eventually we adopted them and their younger brother. Also in that time, we took in twin baby boys and eventually adopted them. Currently we have five teenagers. To say our house is active would be an understatement.
What do you love about your job?
I love seeing our Campus Missionaries grow in their capacity to lead which often leads to greater effectiveness in their ministry setting. Whenever I have a chance to maximize someone's potential, I love it.
What excites you most about college ministry?
The impact you can have on students which leads to impacting people and even a world I will never see with the good news of Jesus.