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The Haystack Prayer Meeting

Clouds loomed in the distance of the Massachusetts sky near Williams College on a warm August day in 1806. Five college students gathered in a field, engaged in deep discussion about world missions.


The storm continued to build on the horizon and quickly came upon them.


The rain started, and the men ran to find cover.


They stumbled upon a haystack and ducked under it to escape the downpour.


However, no amount of rain could wash away the weight of their conversation. 


Huddled under the small shelter, the men continued to discuss the pressing matter of world missions and the need for the good news of the gospel to go out to all nations.


Samuel Mills, the leader of the group, insisted that the Word of God must go out.


“We can do this, if we will!” he passionately proclaimed.


So, the men went forth and continued to trust God to hear their prayers and use them in a mighty way.


This meeting later became known as the Haystack Prayer Meeting.


From this seemingly random gathering, countless missionaries have gone out, organizations have formed, and prayers to make God’s name known across the globe have been answered.


Since the creation of the University of Oklahoma’s Baptist Student Union (now known as the Baptist Collegiate Ministry) in 1923, God has continued to show His grace and His faithfulness as the ministry has multiplied and sent missionaries to all corners of the earth. 


Haystack is excited to be an extension of this ministry on the local, collegiate level. Haystack strives to serve every guest that crosses the threshold of the cafe, with each cup of coffee passed over the counter serving as a reminder of humble service and tangible results of answered prayer. 


Upon the new BCM building’s completion in the fall of 2019, Haystack stands as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to answered prayer, a gathering place for prayer and service, and a beautiful reflection of a moment in the international missions movement.

More Information

Haystack is a ministry affiliated with the OU BCM. To learn more about the BCM and its ministry, visit their website.

To learn more, read The Traveling Team’s Haystack Prayer Meeting article: 

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