It was a moment at Soul Quest the summer after his senior year that changed the course of Cameron Merrill’s life. “I was planning to be a biology major and go to medical school,” said the YC sophomore. “For the last three years of high school, I was going half days to a technical institute for biosciences and medicine and I loved it - loved everything about it. But I wasn't really sure if that's what I wanted to do with my life.”
He also felt pulled toward ministry; however, his family was uncertain of that career path, encouraging him to continue with medicine. During Soul Quest that summer, he felt the calling to ministry even more clearly. One speaker in particular spoke to his exact situation. “I knew that God was trying to tell me something. I broke down and cried that night. I told my parents that ministry was what I was going to do with my life and that I hoped they would accept it.”
Cameron changed his plans from studying biology at another school to studying Bible at YC, where he also joined the soccer team and choir. A conscientious student, Merrill says he has thrown himself into his Bible classes. “I love to learn,” he said. “The scholarships I receive really help me to keep pushing, keep moving forward, and keep getting better.”
This year, Cameron is serving on campus ministries as well as residence hall staff. Both give him hands-on career preparation. In the summer of 2018 he will complete an internship with a church in Garland, Texas. His family has grown more supportive of his ambitions over the last year.
“I love kids and I love working with them so I would really like to do youth ministry after I graduate,” said Cameron. “I would be interested in family ministry and maybe pulpit ministry at some point in the future, but right now I just want to work with youth. My youth minister was instrumental in growing my faith. I was very influenced by him and I looked up to him. I want to have that same kind of impact on others.”
This past summer Cameron participated in a York College study abroad trip to Austria for six weeks. “Study abroad was amazing - just phenomenal,” he said. The students spent mornings studying history, Bible and philosophy, and the afternoons exploring Europe. Prior to this trip, Cameron says history was his least favorite subject. “To actually go out and see the places we were learning about and to immerse myself in the culture was so different than learning in a classroom.”
While in Europe he also developed relationships with two mentors, Dr. Shane Mountjoy, provost, and Dr. Sam Garner, vice president for spiritual development. “Professor Mountjoy helped me understand why he loves history so much and why it’s so important to study it. Exploring history helped me gain a new perspective on studying the Bible[….]And Dr. Garner is a great person to go to with questions about ministry. As the leader for campus ministries, the vision that he has for York College is really amazing. I aspire to have that kind of vision for this work.”
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