COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Breakaway Ministries began 25 years ago as a small Bible study on the campus of Texas A&M University, but now it's a weekly gathering with thousands of students on fire for the Lord.
Each Tuesday evening, the students meet at the school's basketball arena for worship, prayer and Bible teaching.
"I went to Breakaway on the first Tuesday night, and it completely rocked my world. I have never in my life just instantly felt that close to thousands of people. It was just amazing," sophomore Rachel Fisher said.
Breakaway Ministries is a non-denominational Bible study. It's mission is to introduce college students to Jesus Christ and call them to walk with Him for a lifetime.
Their passion seems contagious, and it's having what you might call a domino effect.
"There's so many things I could sit here and list out for you that the Lord is doing here. I'm on this whole retrospective look thing of what's been going on here. I just can't even fully describe what's happening here. Like I said, we're changing the world on this campus," senior Taylor Paine said.
There's a saying that everything is bigger in Texas, and apparently, it includes the Bible studies as well.
Ten thousand people have shown up at these Bible studies on Texas A&M's campus. That's one-fifth of the entire student population.
Breakaway Ministries wasn't always this big though. It began in 1989 when 12 students met in an apartment to pray and seek to know God through His Word.
The Bible study grew over the years and now students across the country are talking about it.
"I met a lot of different students from different campuses and what not from across the nation, and I tell them I'm from Texas A&M, and immediately they know about Breakaway. And they're like 'Oh you go to Breakaway?' And I'm like 'Yeah, I volunteer out there.' And it's kind of sad that I don't know what kind of ministries they have at their school," sophomore Aaron Mohammed said.
Breakaway Executive Director Ben Stuart, who graduated from A&M in 1998, says the ministry is not designed to replace the local church. He encourages students to find a church home and then come together on Tuesday nights for campus community.
Many students keep coming back because they say Stuart's teachings really connect with them on a heart level, like his series on staying pure before marriage.
"He broke into the Song of Solomon and related it into every aspect of dating, from the very first time that you meet all the way until marriage and beyond. He just elaborated on how it was the Christian example that God had given us to be able to follow in the Bible," senior James Arnold said.
Special Movement of God
No matter how much they enjoy the teaching and no matter how big the crowds get, students there say the same thing: that God alone is doing something special on their campus.
"There's something to be said about Breakaway," student leader Logan Knowles said. "If God were to move away from Breakaway, it would cease to exist. Ben usually says we have 10,000 that come to Breakaway and there's 40,000 more that don't. You know, there's always efforts to reach out and spread God's Word."
The ministry also sponsors an international outreach called the Shalom Project. Last year, students raised more than $100,000 to rescue children from sex trafficking.
These students say there's no stopping what God can do through them, and they plan to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
"As an Aggie, you are a part of something bigger than yourself. That is sort of our motto," Fisher said. "So for Breakaway to be such a prominent part, it all makes sense because what we do at Breakaway is all about glorifying God. It's really about the spreading the Gospel, and you know, showing that Jesus moves and He loves everyone."