Campus minister Steve Timmons, 62, was remembered at a memorial service July 1 as New Mexico State Police continue to investigate his death.
Originally reported as a bike accident, Timmons’s death is now believed to have been a homicide committed sometime on the morning of June 26, New Mexico State Police said in a release June 29. State Police asked for the public’s help in the investigation and provided a telephone number for anyone with information about the case.
Since September 2013, Timmons had led the Christian Challenge ministry at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, The Baptist New Mexican reported. Timmons was instrumental in mobilizing volunteer teams to serve within the Navajo Nation. Christian Challenge is the collegiate ministry coordinated by the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.
Impact on churches, young lives
Timmons previously directed Baptist campus ministry at University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) and Utah State University.
“His impact on churches and young people across the Western United States will be greatly missed,” read a Facebook post by the Utah Idaho Southern Baptist Convention.
Former students and colleagues shared memories of Timmons online, many crediting him with playing an instrumental role in their spiritual lives. His memorial service at First Baptist Church Silver City featured similar tributes to the long-time collegiate minister.
Legacy of faithful service
After arriving in Silver City more than a decade ago, the Timmonses served their small campus well, said David Englehart, Christian Challenge coordinator for the BCNM. Over the years, Steve connected with athletes, a key demographic at Western New Mexico University. He provided opportunities for Bible studies and missions trips and did a lot of one-on-one discipling.
The couple worked faithfully, Englehart said, and saw people come to Christ.
“But it’s not a place where you go to get a lot of notoriety,” he said. In the last year, Timmons’s heart had been heavy over trying to reach more students. At the start of the most recent school year, he’d prayed for a “harvest of interest” — interest in spiritual things, in friendship, in belonging to something so they could begin to reach more people.
That prayer is one way Southern Baptists can walk alongside the collegiate ministry family in New Mexico in the days ahead, Englehart said.
“Pray that the Christian Challenge ministry at Western would see God’s provision of increased interest among new students and returning students.”
Timmons is survived by his wife, Ann, their three children and two grandchildren, and his parents and sister.