From 15 to 500
Pete and Amy Bullette pioneered the Chi Alpha campus ministry at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 2000, ending the first year with 15 students who regularly attended meetings. Now they minister to over 500 students weekly.
As U.S. missionaries, the Bullettes began their Chi Alpha ministry with a passion to see students experience the same kind of discipleship they had received at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
“We were so transformed in college, and we realized the opportunity we could have in ministry,” Pete says.
Amy, who became a dietician upon graduation, rededicated her heart to the Lord her sophomore year at SIUC. She found Chi Alpha, and it challenged her to grow, especially after being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Pete, who graduated with an accounting degree, came into Chi Alpha having been filled with the Spirit earlier. He cites the discipleship he received through SIUC Chi Alpha Director and U.S. missionary Dale Crall, who now is at Illinois Central College and Bradley University, for revolutionizing his faith walk.
The Bullettes say the ministry started to grow during their third year at the University of Virginia, as students who had been discipled the previous two years began to reach out to others. The focus on discipleship remained as the group expanded. The Bullettes believe students need anchors in order to thrive in their faith walk, in large part living relationally with people in real Christian community.
As a leader of a thriving ministry, Pete notes that college students these days are socially concerned, receptive to pastoral care, and ready to do something meaningful. Because these young adults are activists at heart, many have caught the Chi Alpha vision by giving a year to missions upon graduation.
Pete urges church leaders to recognize that young adults want relationship, substance, and authenticity — all qualities that churches can provide with meaty sermons and structures that are personal.
The Bullettes point to the prayer and financial support of local churches as major factors in the growth of the University of Virginia campus ministry.
“The local church is truly a partner,” says Amy, who notes that a college campus is a fertile ground for students to commit to Christ as Savior, be disciples, and be sent to the marketplace and to other nations. “Our fruit is their fruit in a very real way.”
The Bullettes have three children, Ian, Nevaeh, and Jeremiah.
IMAGE - Chi Alpha girls group