Impact began as merely an idea in the spring of 1999. This idea started as a ministry fair for incoming freshmen to give them an opportunity to find out about the Christian ministries on campus and churches in the area. As the idea expanded, the founders quickly realized that it was much bigger than a one day event, and Impact was born. Impact's founder, Christy Dressell, then spread the word about a week of prayer for this new organization, and every night a group would gather together to pray for what they were believing God was about to do. Each night the group was different, but their heart was the same. At the end of the week, it was evident that an organization like Impact was needed on campus and the leadership staff was formed.
In the Fall of 1999, Impact boasted a staff of 122 students that represented over 28 Texas A&M organizations and 11 local churches. The first year of Impact was one session at Pineywoods Baptist Camp. This first retreat served around 150 freshmen in eight camps that were named after the 12 tribes of Israel: Issachar, Simeon, Gad, Levi, Asher, Judah, Reuben and Zebulun. Camp names—as well as the colors associated with each camp—continue as a tradition today.
Impact has grown dramatically since its inception in 1999. The retreat grew to 2 sessions in 2003 and 355 freshmen attended the August retreat. In 2007, Impact grew to 3 sessions, 20 camps total, and 800 freshmen attended retreat. Impact has remained at 3 sessions, now with 30 camps, a staff of 550 students and over 1500 freshmen in attendance for the past three years! This year will be Impact's 18th year of serving the Texas A&M and Blinn community. This year's retreat staff is now planning for next August, so check back for announcements and details!
Impact has been blessed to continually meet yearly budget needs, and has filled staff and freshmen spots each year because of the grace that the Lord has continually poured out. As the Mission Statement says, Impact seeks to glorify the Lord in every aspect of its existence by serving the incoming freshmen class and showing them their first glimpse of the body of Christ at Texas A&M and Blinn. Prayer has always been and continues to be the backbone of this ministry, and our Ministry Fair at retreat is a major tool used to get incoming freshmen plugged into local churches and organizations.