Month: September 2018


A day in review: campus wide service day




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The Origins: Johnson University K-Day

Knoxville– Johnson University students take the Christian calling to the next level imbedding it into their mission statement and living it out with a day dedicated to serving the Knoxville community.

David Legg, dean of students, said the idea of a campus wide service day was discussed between himself and Dr. Richard Beam, former Vice President of Academics, a few years before the service day was put into effect. Legg said no action was taken on the topic at that time. Later, the Student Government Association approached them about starting a day dedicated to service.

This day is commonly referred to as “K-Day,” or “K-18,” the last two digits representing the year of service.

Every year, SGA plans a day off from classes so students can go out into the surrounding communities to serve. This year, K-Day had an impact on the cities of Knoxville, Maryville, Alcoa, Sevierville, and Seymour. This annual event started on Sept. 9, 2009.

SGA published fliers this year that referred to the service day as a day of remembrance for the lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

According to Legg, this day of service was originally intended for students to be able to serve the greater Knoxville community as a school body.

“It [K-Day] gives our students an opportunity to live out who we say we are, as a community,” Legg said.

SGA Representatives on K-Day

While K-18 is only a one-day event for many students on campus, for SGA it is an event that has been in the making for months.

“Today we get to step back and see all the hard work that has been put in over the year,” Ashton Lowery, student body president, said.

The SGA Spiritual Life Committee, headed up by Carli Long, dedicated hours to gather the needs of the Knoxville community and plan for the upcoming service day.

Lowery said that getting students out in the community to serve has always been a challenge. However, when students get started on the day, they immensely enjoy it and want to engage in service more often.

“It’s an adrenaline high of a day of serving,” Lowery said.

Lowery’s first year as student body president has impacted how she participates in K-18. “It’s a learning experience to step back and not do everything myself,” Lowery said “It’s a humbling experience.”

Members of SGA were scattered among the different sites, participating as team leaders.


Bethany Snowden, Senior

Beth Snowden, a member of the Spiritual Life Committee, helped lead a group serving at a local ministry, Knoxville Area Rescue Ministry. Snowden said she had never volunteered at KARM before, but remembered hearing that “they do great ministry downtown.”

Snowden’s group was mainly working on renovating the third floor of the KARM building into a living area called ‘The Berea House.’ Snowden said the house will be a place homeless men can live while also attending classes, work, and participate in community service.

As her team sanded walls, cleaned, painted, replaced ceiling tiles, and polished doors and baseboards, Snowden said, “I like knowing these small things will go towards helping better the life of someone.”

Snowden said the impact of K-18 on students is important.

“It’s great to so manual labor, it helps us gain a servants’ heart,” she said.


Kayla Senor, Sophomore

Kayla Senor, unofficial vice president of the sophomore class, spent the service day leading a group at the Young Women’s Christian Association in East Knoxville.

The ministry has a focus on social justice issues. One aspect of this ministry includes empowering children, helping them with reading and writing skills.

Senor’s group had the opportunity to paint encouraging murals on the bathroom doors and organize supplies, all in hopes to help facilitate a better learning environment for the children.

“I’m really excited to be here because I love social justice and empowering kids,” Senor said. “One of my passions is helping kids to read. It’s really cool that I ended up in a place that fits my passion so well.”

The Student Perspective

JU’s athletic teams were slated to work for the Knoxville Leadership Foundation for their day of service. Each sports team was supposed to be stationed at sites building ramps, along with other household improvements for those in the community who cannot afford to do it themselves.

Due to the significant amount of rain the past few days, KLF decided that the work could not be completed Thursday. Athletic Director Brandon Perry said the athletes will be working on these projects in the upcoming weekends.

For now, the athletes had the opportunity to work at the university, cleaning up the campus grounds.

Some of the athletes and Perry said that they were disappointed the sites were canceled, but are looking forward to helping these people later in the semester.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” Kenyon Helmuth, a member of the class of 2020, said. “I felt it was a great opportunity for the teams to get together and be unified.”

Some of the JU athletic representatives said that K-Day is a great way for the teams and the school to give back to the community and live out the Christian lifestyle.

“To me, K-Day is about giving back to our community,” Perry said.

Some students said they enjoy the opportunity to minister outside of campus, in the local area.

“JU has a K-Day so students have an opportunity to give back to the community, so that we can serve and show God’s love,” Luci Evans, a member of the class of 2022, said.

Students hope K-Day is impactful 


Behind the Scenes: Cathy Taylor

 Cathy Taylor has been at Johnson University for 17 years. She has served as an Academic Advisor for many students and an Administrative Assistant for the late Dr. Vernon Eaton and Dr. Daniel Overdorf.

“I have been blessed with absolutely the two best bosses on campus,” Cathy said. “So I’ve been very thankful for the opportunity to work under both of them.”

While she has been at Johnson for 17 years, her story of getting to the university has a lot of different twists and turns.

She was raised in Covington, Tenn. Some of the small towns around her would host dances on the weekends where teenagers could come and socialize. During one of those dances, a “cute boy” named Gary came up to her and asked her to dance.

“He was cute but he had these sandals on that looked like Jesus sandals. I thought ‘well I don’t know about that.’” Cathy said. “I asked him where he went to school and all I caught was that he was a junior. … I thought he meant he was a junior in high school and I thought ‘well I just graduated from high school and I am not about to stoop to going out with a junior in high school.’”

She later learned from one of her friends that the boy had meant he was a junior in college. The next weekend Cathy agreed to go on a date with the boy and in 1966 she married her husband Gary.

Years later, when Gary took a job raising funs for Christian organizations, they moved to Knoxville so that they could be near their son and his family. Once they got settled, Cathy began looking for a job. She had been a teacher’s aide in public schools for 14 years and knew she did not want to continue doing that. Cathy put in an application at Johnson and received a call a few days later from Dr. Vernon Eaton, who asked her to come in and interview to be his secretary. She started on Sept. 17, 2001.

Since starting at Johnson 17 years ago, she has served many students as their academic advisor and also served as the Administrative Assistant for Eaton and Overdorf.

Cathy says that one thing she wants to pass on to everyone she meets is that they should remember that God will guide them.

She mentioned a time that she went to a wedding and there was a Bible where people could mark verses for the couple to remember throughout their marriage. She marked Proverbs 3:5-6.

“Now that doesn’t mean that we’re going to walk this golden road and never have anything, but what it means is He’s going to be there,” Cathy said. “Through thick, thin, problems, tears, joys and if we look to Him, He will guide us. Sometimes He is silent and we have to wait, but in His silence He still gives us comfort. I think that fits any stage of life.”


JU School of Communications and Creative Arts offers minors, electives

KNOXVILLE — Johnson University’s School of Communications and Creative Arts offers many options for students to enhance their education.

The SCCA offers three minor options in music and one in communications. Students from any area of study can pursue these options.

Each minor consists of 18 additional credit hours, however, if planned strategically, this amount may be less.

The music minors consist of three options – music performance minor, music minor, and worship theology minor. The music performance minor consists of music theory and performance course content. The other music minor consists of more traditional music theory, but still contains elements of music performance. The third minor is worship theology which focuses on digging deep into the theology of worship.
The minor in communications also can provide training in various areas.

“…So any major on the campus can do a mass communication minor…,” Matthew Broaddus, Dean of the School of Communications and Creative Arts said. “So if you’re interested in video production, audio production, writing more, you can add (this) minor to your degree and do that.”

Broaddus said that the degree is a great additive to any major, as the skills that it can teach you will enable you to succeed in your career.

“…So it just gives students more opportunities to experience different things and to gain experience and be better prepared for a job market that demands diverse skills,” Broaddus said.

He said that students will also gain a crucial ability.

“Well, I think the big one is critical thinking,” Broaddus said. “If you’re going out and asking questions and collecting information and observing the world with the mindset of ‘I have to observe this and then tell other people’, you learn to think critically, you learn to evaluate situations… a lot of people really struggle with the ability just to think critically and I think it really gives people an opportunity to develop and practice critical thinking skills.”

If students are considering adding a minor they should do so immediately. It can successfully be added and fit in as late as your junior year, however, if added in the senior year it could prolong the expected graduation date.

“There are a couple of different ways you could approach it but to get all the content in you probably need to give yourself two years to stagger it out throughout your degree,” Broaddus said. “So the earlier you declare a minor the better.”

The two music minors do have an audition requirement. Interested students can contact music faculty to schedule auditions and find out more details.

If a minor in one of these areas doesn’t suit you, then you can pursue an elective option which ranges from private music lessons to ensemble, to joining the Royal Scribe staff.

“Participating in private lessons is a great way to just learn to perform better and participating in an ensemble, you know, there’s just great value just learning to sing with a group,” Broaddus said. “Our hope is that we’ll have a lot of people who are passionate about singing cause we have so many of them on campus who aren’t necessarily music majors, but they’ll want to get involved and just continue to push their ability further.”

Students can enroll in private music lessons without any background with the instruments.

There is another elective option    Johnson’s official student publication, the Royal Scribe. The Royal Scribe allows students to hone their writing skills while also gaining other life skills and experience that will be beneficial in their career and personal life.

“The ability to communicate and present information – collect information – it’s a job skill that translates to any career,” Broaddus said. “So that ability to build relationships, to ask questions, and to gather information will benefit anyone long term in their careers.”

Students can join the Royal Scribe just as a club activity also.

“…It’s the opportunity just to get connected with the campus community a little bit more, to learn more about your university, to help document the history of the university,” Broaddus said.

If a student participates in any of these options for three semesters, it has the possibility to count for an elective.

Students interested in adding a minor or electives in these areas should contact the SCCA.




L. Thomas Smith Jr. inaugurated as Johnson University’s seventh president

Written by Drew Tapp and Jenna Stahlman

KNOXVILLE   On Friday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m., in the Phillips-Welshimer gym, Johnson University inaugurated its seventh president, L. Thomas Smith Jr.

Various faculty, institutional leaders, community members, students, and others, welcomed those in attendance    in person and online via livestream.

“Your presence also represents your participation, prayer and encouragement towards the achievement of Johnson University’s mission and your prayerful support of Dr. Smith’s role in leading the pursuit of that mission,” said Jon Weatherly, Provost. “For those we are especially grateful.”

Former President Gary Weedman gave his thoughts titled “Reflections of a Presidential Mentor” to encourage and show support for his successor.

“As provost you had to deal with deans, faculty and accrediting agencies,” said Weedman. “Now you have a Board of Trustees and senior administrators and staff and faculty and the budget. You have students and parents and alumni and friends of the university, and the budget…You have a wife and children and grandchildren and in-laws and yes, the budget. You get the point.”

Smith was welcomed into presidency with three gifts    a Bible that was compiled and signed by Ashley S. Johnson, the founder of the university, a medallion with the college motto, and a portrait of himself which will be hung in the Marble Hallway of the Phillips-Welshimer Building, beside the portraits of the previous six presidents.

 The Board of Trustees, the campus community, and the extended community all pledged to pray for the new president.

Former President David Eubanks also spoke and encouraged Smith with charges from Jesus, Paul, and other various biblical figures.

Smith gave his inaugural address which was titled “Take Care Lest We Forget” from Deuteronomy 6:10-13. In it he said that he and the university must not forget to take care of the great gifts that we have inherited from those who have gone before us and charged the university to be a good steward of its many gifts.

The Johnson University choirs performed throughout the event.

Following the ceremony, was a reception at the White House lawn where students, staff and alumni were invited to socialize and celebrate with the new president and first lady.



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JU Students celebrate alongside new president

The student event kicked off at 6 p.m. with the Cruze Farm ice-cream truck on campus to give away ice-cream to the students, faculty, and campus guests. Other events included games like Kan Jam, corn hole, and 9 Square Up in the Air which President Smith played along with students.


President Smith and some of the students who played with him in 9 Square Up in the Air.

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Morgan Kast, a sophomore majoring in Intercultural Studies, said that she is excited to see what President Smith will do for the university.

“…I think that he’s a really humble leader already,” Kast said. “I can see that off the bat, so I’m really excited and I think that he’ll do great things for our school.”


Morgan Kast

Kast also said that she enjoyed the events of the day.

It was really unique and it was really cool to be able to be a part of history for our school, because something like that will probably not happen (again) before I graduate,” Kast said.



Nike’s controversial advertisement sparks discussion at JU

Written by Domanic Hildebrand, Sydney Mckneelen, Bekah Ochs, Kayla Slichter, and Jenna Stahlman, Royal Scribe Staff


Photo from

The story behind the ad

Nike, one of the top shoe and athletic apparel companies in the world, known for its iconic slogan “Just Do It,” recently announced the face of its 30th-anniversary campaign. Nike picked Colin Kaepernick,  the controversial, former NFL quarterback, to be the iconic face of the new advertisement.

Kaepernick is known for inspiring players to kneel during pregame national anthem activities at football games. He began kneeling in protest of racial injustice back in 2016. This act of protest quickly became a popular movement among NFL players. This caused an uproar from a variety of Americans across the nation, all debating whether or not kneeling during the national anthem is considered disrespectful.

When the Kaepernick advertisement initially aired, Nike stock started to fall. However, according to Nike’s website, a few days later their stocks had regained all lost value and increased by four percent.

According to, political figures including President Donald Trump, have spoken out against the campaign and Nike’s decision to have Kaepernick as the face of their advertisement. Some of those politicians are now stepping back from their words, like Louisiana Mayor Ben Zahn who banned the purchase of Nike products in local facilities.

The Kaepernick advertisement has the phrase, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” This phrase and the likeness of the Nike advertisement has now become an internet “meme” sensation.

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The history behind Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign is rooted in the idea that they wanted to break their market scope of just athletes and widen the scope to everyone. According to, the campaign was successful when, after its 1988 launch, Nike’s sales increased by 1,000 percent. Nike officials credit the campaign with keeping the company financially afloat that year.

JU athletes see Nike campaign as business move

Some student-athletes at JU believe that the recent Nike campaign was a financial choice.

Riley Reinhardt, a JU tennis athlete, Journey Bennington, a JU frisbee team member, and Kandace Troxell, a JU volleyball athlete, share similar views on the recent Nike campaign. The student-athletes said that the recent signing with Kaepernick was a financial play.

Journey Bennington

“Most businesses need to take risks to make money and I think that is what Nike did,” Bennington said.

Similar to what Bennington stated, Reinhardt said, “Nike is a corporation, so they are going to do what every corporation does, and that is make money.”

“He [Kaepernick] is a provocative character and Nike has made more money because they chose Colin Kaepernick, because people are talking about it,” Reinhardt said. “It doesn’t really affect me because I understand that Nike is a business and they want to make money.”

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Kandace Troxell

Within the past year, Johnson University signed a six-year contract with Adidas. According to Ben fair, Assistant Athletic Director, the decision was made before the Nike campaign.

“We explored all of our options,” Fair said. “Adidas was going to give us a quality product at the best price.”

JU athletes propose alternative representative for Nike campaign

All three student-athletes advocated for a different icon to represent the Nike company. This does not change their views on the quality of the merchandise.

Both Reinhardt and Troxell suggested that Lebron James would be a strong representation for the tagline that Nike created with their campaign, “Just do it, even if it means sacrificing everything,”

“I don’t think that Nike had to pick some provocative athlete,” Reinhardt said. “I’m not a huge fan of Lebron James but what he has done in the community has been a great example of how athletes should give back and how athletes should set an example for how they want to lead their communities.”

Troxell agreed.

“He definitely cares about social justice and he is well-liked by most people…”

According to GiveMeSport, Lebron James, basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers, is a strong example of what a sacrificial athlete should look like.

Reinhardt, Troxell and Bennington agreed that the campaign does not impact whether they will buy Nike products in the future.

Though some feel the financial play Nike made by choosing Kaepernick may not have been the best representation for a sacrificial athlete, the choice has brought an increase in publicity and sales.

While these student-athletes may not have agreed with the choice, the recent campaign has not phased them enough to alter their relationship with Nike.

JU athletes’ opinions on Kaepernick’s sacrifice

JU athletes had varying opinions on whether or not Kaepernick sacrificed everything when he decided to kneel in protest of social injustice on the football field.

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“In speaking out for what he believed in, he sacrificed what was his everything – which was his football career,” Trent Fleming, JU basketball player, said.

Others believe that he made the decision to take a stance on his own, so the repercussions are his to deal with.

“He chose to separate himself from the notions of the NFL,” Thomas Williams, JU baseball player, said.

Troxell believes that Kaepernick sacrificed his career. However, she said it is a far cry from military sacrifice.

“I think a lot of people will compare that to military sacrificing everything, which I think is a pretty stark contrast,” Troxell said.

Troxell said that she does believe Kaepernick sacrificed his career and reputation. “He was a really well known, really liked football player until he made the stance, and now he’s very much hated by a lot of people and he can’t play football ever again,” she said.

Troxell said that she believes Kaepernick did not intend to disrespect military, but that he only wanted to shed light on social injustice in the country. However, she said many others who are familiar with this controversy view it differently.

“I have a brother who is in the military, so for me it has kind of always been a struggle, because I understand where he’s coming from, but I also understand why these people are mad,” she said.

Troxell said she comes from a large military family, and her brother, Jake Troxell, has served in the Navy for a year and a half. She said because of this, she understands what sacrifice means to those who serve and their loved ones.

Reinhardt said that another face he believes would represent Nike’s sacrifice campaign well would be Pat Tillman. According to USA Today, others agree with this as well.

After the September 11 attacks, Tillman left his NFL career behind in 2002 to enlist in the United States Army as an Army Ranger, so that he could fight for his country. In 2004, Tillman was killed by friendly fire while serving in Afghanistan.

Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman representing the Nike campaign in a mock ad (Photo from

JU athletes indifferent to sporting Nike gear

The impact on the athletes’ relationships with the company is minimal. The students who were interviewed for this story, and who purchased and wore Nike products before, said they are going to continue doing so without any thought over the politics of it.

Troxell said that since she believes Nike chose Kaepernick as the face of their campaign simply as a financial move, it does not necessarily make her want to purchase more Nike products.

“I don’t think it’s changed a lot, especially because I don’t think it’s a lot of a social justice move on their part,” Troxell said. “I think maybe if I felt that way I would like Nike more, but I just think that they did it from a financial standpoint.”

The Biblical perspective from JU student and Staff

Whether they agree with it or not, Kaepernick’s definition of sacrifice has caught the attention of fellow Christians.

Cal Kinman, a preaching and youth ministry major, defined sacrifice as “giving up one’s desires or aspirations for the sake of a greater cause.”

In Christianity, the ultimate sacrifice was Jesus dying on the cross. In comparison to this, Kinman said he believes that Kaepernick had more selfish intentions with his sacrifices.

Rafael Rodriguez, Professor of New Testament, agreed with Kinman, saying, the ad itself had selfish intentions behind it. “Nike cares less about Colin Kaepernick and more about you,” he said. “What Nike actually wants you to do is buy their products.”

On terms of biblical sacrifice, Rodriguez compares Jesus on the cross to the shoe company’s advertisement.

“Jesus on the cross — there is a picture of sacrifice where I can say, ‘that cost him something,’” he said. “Then I look at a shoe company using that same word [sacrifice], I’m going to get a bit cynical about that.”

“Buying shoes is different than sacrifice. Buying shoes is consumerism,” Rodriguez said. “It’s not a bad thing, but not a noble thing either.”

Heather Gorman, Associate Professor of New Testament, defined sacrifice as “giving up yourself or something that is yours, for the benefit of others.”

Gorman said she actually finds similarities between the actions of Kaepernick and what Jesus did for his people.

She said, “The idea of sacrificing your reputation for the good of others, especially the oppressed and those experiencing injustice, is very consistent with what we see in the Bible.”




First tennis matches show veteran leadership and rising freshmen


The JU Royal’s men’s and women’s teams launched their season Sept. 14th and 15th in a pair of challenging matches against Oakland City University and Brescia University.

Even though both matches resulted in losses, there were still constructive points to pull from them. The veteran players showed up to play, led the team, and pulled some wins.

The women’s team lost a close match to Oakland City, slipping 4-5. The lone doubles win came from doubles pair Hannah Ham (Jr.) and Annalise McDonald (So.) winning 8-6. Freshman, Iris Loveday, and Madison Buchanan (Jr.) dropped a close match 7-9. 

Returning players Buchanan, Danielle Keehner (Sr.), and McDonald pulled wins at the one, two, and three spots of the singles line up. However, the team overall was left just short of a victory.

The men’s team dropped 3-7 but had strong wins from Carson Byington (So.) and Michael Rhodenbaugh (Sr.) at the one and two spots. 

Freshman, Steven Damon closed out the match with his first win as a JU Royal. Damon was the only Freshman to pull a win, on his 18th birthday no less.

Saturday’s matches against Brescia proved more difficult, but there were still some highlights.

Doubles pair Ham and McDonald scraped another victory leaving them undefeated at the start of this season. Beyond that, McDonald went 4-0 during the course of the weekend, winning both singles and doubles matches.

The Royals are set to play Emory and Henry Sept. 29th.


Stone-Campbell Journal Conference paper competition open for submission


The Fourteenth Annual Student Paper Competition of the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference is asking for entries before the Dec. 15, 2018 deadline.

The 2019 contest is open to undergraduate juniors and seniors, and graduate MA/MDiv. Papers falling under any SCJ discipline are eligible for entry. The requirements state that papers must be 8-12 pages in length.

Contest winners will receive a certificate and books, and will also be recognized in an article on the SCJ website. The Isaac Errett winner    Stone-Campbell topics only    will receive a $250 cash prize.  In addition, several Christian universities have pledged scholarships of $2500 toward one year of graduate school for the winners of the respective divisions.

Finalists will be notified by Feb. 17, 2019. The top three students from each category will present their papers before judges at the conference, which will be held April 5-6, 2019 at Johnson University in Knoxville. Paper presentations must be under 20 minutes for undergraduates, and 25 minutes for graduate students.

Undergraduate and graduate participators should submit their papers to Les Hardin by Dec. 15, 2018. Any questions should be directed to Dr. Hardin at

Errett Paper contestants in Stone-Campbell history should submit their papers and area of program study to Newell Williams by Dec. 15, 2018. All questions for this category should be directed to Dr. Williams at


Preparing for a New President

When it came time to find the seventh President of Johnson University, the Board of Trustees knew they were looking for someone who was a Johnson University alumnus, knew how to raise funds, and whose character is above reproach. They found their prime candidate in Dr Thomas Smith.

“We spent two to three hours in the interview,” Smith said. “(The Board of Trustees) had a long list of questions that they went through that were very tough questions. None of them were surprises to me which led me to feel like I had been well prepared.”

Smith has a long history with Johnson University. He graduated from Johnson Bible College with his B.A. in 1978. He then was in located ministry for six years. After receiving his M.A.R. from Emmanuel School of Religion in 1986 and his PhD from the University of Tennessee in 1990, he came back and began teaching at JU in 1989. After serving as a professor of history and theology, he served as the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences from 2012 to 2014 and as the Provost from 2014 to 2017 before beginning his tenure as President.

However, Smith is more than his academic and career accomplishments. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees L.D. Campbell says that Smith is personable, enjoys people,  is approachable, enjoys a good laugh and is an excellent preacher.

Professor Gerald Mattingly, who has known Smith for almost 30 years, described him as “a good person with a sound analytical mind and a disarming down-to-earth quality,” which he went on to say is good for someone who is assuming the role of the presidency.

Smith has some big goals for his presidency. Among them are recommitting the university to the mission of the university, improving math and science classes, and improving college athletics.

One of the key aspects he wants to refocus on is being faithful to the great commision. He feels the “Third Way”, which is a blend of a bible college approach and liberal arts college approach, can accomplish this goal by rounding out students’ education experiences.

The university has also begun studying how it can improve its math and science classes, which Smith feels will go a long way in benefiting Teacher Education and Health and Human Services majors among many others.

Smith also wants university athletics to recruit students based on what he called the “Johnson Triad”: people who are missionary committed, academically prepared, and competitive athletes. “There is all kind of benefits both for athletics and for the student body,” Smith said. “It boosts student morale, gives you stuff to do, and creates relationships. It’s kind of an overstatement, but in the past we’ve done athletics because we ‘had to’. I want to do it because we want to. 

This will be Johnson’s fifth inauguration in its history. He hopes students will come to the ceremony, but he also hopes to see them at the student event later in the evening as well. He asks that all students help make the campus look nice and that they themselves look nice as well.

“It’s important to me that students feel welcomed and included at this event,” Smith said.

Smith wants people to know that his inauguration is not a celebration of him or the office, but rather a celebration of the university. The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. and will be followed by a reception on the White House lawn at 4:30. The student event will take place at 6:30 on the Gally Plaza and will offer games, food and a Cruze Farm ice cream truck, which Smith said, “ain’t bad to entice students with.” 


Fall semester brings all new changes in Royal Scribe staff

Staff Photo-1

Johnson University’s official student publication, The Royal Scribe, has brand new staff for the 2018-19 academic year.

InezThe new advisor for the Royal Scribe is Inez Reyes. Inez joined Johnson last semester as a speech professor. She graduated from Orangeburg Wilkinson High School in South Carolina. She then received her Bachelor’s in Marketing from South Carolina State University and her Master’s in Media Communications from Governors State University. Her hobbies include reading, teaching, sewing, and building things. Some of her passions include health and nutrition, as well as God and His love for humanity. She is married to Mubanga Chisulo. She has two daughters – Dania Reyes, 14, and Anya Reyes, 7. Her favorite thing about Johnson is the atmosphere and the friendliness of the campus.

Jenna-1Jenna Stahlman is the Editor of the Royal Scribe. She was born and raised in Summerville, PA. She graduated from homeschooling in 2016. This was also when her family moved to the Sevierville, TN area. She is majoring in mass communications. Although she is not yet sure what career path she wants to pursue, she would love to be involved in the horse or rodeo industry in some way. Her hobbies and passions include her horse Rusty, hiking, fishing, photography, being in nature, and southern culture. She is a country music enthusiast, specifically older country. She also has a cat and dog. Her favorite thing about Johnson is the beautiful setting of the campus, the relationships she has made so far, and the doors that have opened, bringing new opportunities.

drewDrew Tapp is Royal Scribe’s Assistant Editor. He graduated from Southport High School in Indianapolis, IN. He is a freshman studying Preaching and Youth Ministry. In addition to working in youth ministry, Drew hopes to obtain his master’s and doctorate in the New Testament. One thing he would enjoy in the future is watching a kid bring their friend to Christ and then baptizing them, as he has a heart for middle and high school students and believes that they will radically change the world. Some of his hobbies include crosswords, watching Netflix, and spending time with friends. His passions include working with refugees and supporting his friends. He wanted to attend Johnson because of the belonging he felt when visiting, and the great ministry program. He appreciates the uncommon community and the support and love people give each other at Johnson.  His favorite thing about the local area is getting to the top of a hike and looking out at the view. It reminds him that things in life may seem big and impossible to deal with, but in reality are quite small, and he serves a great God who will help him through them.

MadisonMadison Buchanan is Copy Editor of the Royal Scribe. She graduated from Robinson High School in Robinson, IL. She is currently a junior pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English. With that, she hopes to teach middle school or high school English. In addition, Madison hopes to work with missional organizations and write for them. She also desires to publish a book someday. Her hobbies include reading, hanging out with family and friends, and listening to music. Her passions are writing, tennis, and social justice. She has a Husky/Shepherd named Sully, and two cats. Madison desired to go to a Christian University that offered an English degree, where she thought she would be challenged, in both her major and her faith. She loves the community of Johnson. Her favorite thing about the Smoky Mountains are the beautiful views, as she is from a state where everything is flat and in cornfields.

kyara.pngKyara Vinales is a reporter for the Royal Scribe from the Florida campus. Her hometown is Kissimmee, FL. She graduated from Gateway High school just down the street from campus. She is a senior pursuing a Bachelor’s in Worship Ministry. She hopes to be able to use that to facilitate worship in a unique way. She desires to serve along side her husband, Isaias, who wants to become a pastor. Her hobbies include playing guitar and singing, painting, drawing, and crocheting. Kyara is passionate about helping people and discipling them, and incorporating art into the Christian faith as another way of worship. In searching for a college, she wanted one that was close to home and based off of the  Word of God, and Johnson fit that. Her favorite thing about Johnson is how Scripture based the university is and that they require students to major in Bible and Theology in addition to their chosen major.


Packed house for Scotty McCreery at Tennessee Valley Fair


Scotty McCreery perfoming at the Tennessee Valley Fair, Sept. 13.

Scotty McCreery opened his close-to-sold out show with a crowd hit, “Seasons Change.” The crowd went wild as their anticipation became real life. Tickets for this show were in high demand within seconds of them going on sale June 4.

Throughout the show McCreery sang some of the songs from his newest album, “Seasons Change,” as well as some of his first big hits, like “Trouble with Girls” and “I Love You This Big.” He also spent time telling stories of shared experiences with his grandpa. A crowd favorite was his love story of how he and his now wife, Gabi Dugal McCreery, met on their first day of kindergarten.

McCreery took his audience back in time with songs from artists including Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, and Johnny Cash. After saying “goodnight” to his audience and walking offstage, McCreery and his band reappeared for one last song, being Josh Turner’s “Your Man.”