All posts by ATapp

Drew 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.


Volleyball Team Wins Last Three Matches of Regular Season

The lady Royals volleyball team won the last three matches of their season.

On Thursday they beat Crown College. The sets were 25-6, 25-5 and 25-5. On Saturday they were victorious against both Alice Lloyd College and Welch College. They won against Alice Lloyd College in three sets that went 25-18, 25-18 and 25-13. Later in the evening, they won against Welch College 25-19, 25-14 and 25-20.

Head Coach Robin Vannoy, who is in her third season as head coach at Johnson, said that she was really happy with how the girls played Wednesday night.

“Tonight was a team effort by everybody,” Vannoy said. “We had the opportunity to get everybody in the match. We are hosting regionals and we hope everybody comes out.”

The Lady Royals finished their season 22-7. The regional schedule should be released soon.

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JU Choir Holds Fall Concert

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On Monday Oct. 15, the University Choir and Vox Royale performed various songs for an audience compromised of students, parents, and notable members of the staff and faculty.

The choir sang “Sorida”, “Be Thou My Vision”, “Joshua” and “A Clare Benediction.” The Voy Royale sang “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel. The Voy Royale Men’s Quartet sang “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman.

The evening also featured various soloists. Jackie Jackson did a solo during “Sorida”, Allen Ramsey performed “Polonaise in G Minor” on the piano, and Jasmine Stacy sang “Lascia ch’io pianga.” Also featured during the performance of “Sorida” was a group of four students who played various percussion instruments to accompany the song.

At the end of the concert, the choir ended by celebrating the success of the evening. One of those students was freshman Emma Holley.

“I feel amazing,” said Holley. “The pieces were fabulous. I enjoy singing with this group. This is a great choir group that we have. It is filled with a bunch of loving, sweet and energetic people, and I am so happy to call them my family.”


Opinion: Exercise Your Right to Vote

About 250 years ago, a bunch of spunky farmers and shop owners decided that they were done with living under British imperial rule. In 1775, those farmers and shop owners fired “the shot heard around the world” and after a few more years of fighting, America won its independence.

Now that’s a story all of us have heard a million times in school, on the 4th of July, and several other times throughout our lives. However, it is worth repeating because it teaches us an important lesson: our basic human rights are important. And one of those rights is the right to have our voice be heard.

After the revolution ended, the founding fathers of our nation got together and over the course of a few years came to eventually draft the Constitution. Within that august document is the right for white men to vote. Once our society eventually came to its senses we finally gave everyone the right to vote. This key part of our republic has been used countless times throughout history to effect change in our nation. Countless men and women have died protecting the right for everyone to vote as well.

Fast forward to modern days. Since 1920 women have been allowed to vote. The percentage of the population that is eligible to vote who actually did vote has hovered around 50 to 60 percent. That is a huge problem! That means that only about half the population takes the time to get out on election day and exercise one of their fundamental rights and responsibilities. A right in which countless thousands have died for over the years. This is just wrong.

For years now, whenever I walk around or scroll through social media, all I’ve heard is people complaining about all factions of government. Now hear me on this: it’s more than okay to give your opinion on what the government is or should be doing, but don’t complain unless you’re willing to do something about it. The easiest thing you can do is get out and vote on election day. Do you like how your Congressman or Senator is representing you in Congress? Great, go vote for them. Do you absolutely despise your Congressman or Senator and want someone else in office? Great, go vote for that other candidate. A lot of people think that one vote can’t make a difference and that’s one reason they stay home on election day, but imagine if everyone who thought that way got out and voted. There would be thousands of new votes which could drastically change the system.

Now I understand that trying to get the poll between 6 A.M. and 6 P.M. can be hard especially for those who work or have kids. Lucky for you, the system has created a solution for you to get your vote in without having to wait in line on election day. Also, most of us college kids here at JU won’t be in our home counties on election day. This solution works for us too. Allow me to introduce you to the absentee ballot.

The way the absentee ballot works is you apply to get the ballot, it gets mailed to you and you mail it back. It’s literally that simple. JU students, you can buy an envelope and a stamp in the campus bookstore for around 50 cents and drop it off in the slot right by the mailroom. Each state has its own policy for how to get an absentee ballot, but lucky for you we live in the age of the internet and a simple google search will tell you what you need to do.

Voting is your civic duty; however, do your best to be an informed voter. Don’t just vote blindly for a party. Vet the candidates and make sure you know who you’re voting for. Almost every single candidate will have a website with some of their core beliefs on it. Look at the issues that are important to you, choose which candidate you prefer, and then go vote. If you don’t like any candidate, write somebody in. Don’t throw away your chance to affect change in your city council, state legislature, or even in Congress.

One of the best ways to have your voice be heard in this country is to vote. There are several other ways too and I’ll probably touch on those at some point in the coming weeks as well, but for now go get your absentee ballot because election day is less than a month away! Get your ballot, get informed, and then go exercise your basic fundamental right to have your voice be heard in this country.


Girls Soccer Beats Welch College 9-1


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The Lady Royals soccer team faced off against Welch College and won 9-1 last Tuesday.

In order, the first seven goals were scored by: Abby Barron, Emily Allen, Barron, Jamie Leaverton, Shelby Green, Barron and Leaverton. The last two were scored by Caley Cooper.

The one goal scored by Welch College was a result of a penalty kick.

“It was a good game,” said freshman Felipe Nixon. “We played well and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”

One of the players, Chloe Nussbaum, says that the win against Welch was a team effort.

“Not only is Welch a competitive team, but they are a quality team full of strong women,” said Nussbaum. “We enjoy competing with them as fellow Christians and sisters in Christ.”


Lady Royals face off in weekend trimatch

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This weekend the girl’s volleyball team faced off in a tri-match.

The Lady Royals played Kentucky Christian University on Friday night and beat them 3-1. On Saturday afternoon they played Appalachian Bible College and won 3-0. They fell to Toccoa Falls College later that night 2-3.

On Friday night, Johnson played KCU. They lost the first set and it wasn’t looking good during the second, but JU rallied back from an 18-24 point deficit to win the second set 30-28. This victory gave them the momentum they needed to win the third and fourth sets 25-20 and 25-13 respectively.

The first match on Saturday was against ABC. JU beat ABC 3-0 in hard-fought sets that ended up being 25-17, 25-19 and 25-12 in the end. However, later that night, JU played TFC and fell to them 2-3.

“They played very hard this weekend,” said freshman Niklaus Naekel. “They were very aggressive against Appalachian Bible College. Really showed Johnson spirit.”


Boys and Girls Soccer Face Off Against KCU

The boys and girls soccer teams faced Kentucky Christian University at South Doyle High School on Oct. 4. 

The boys played first. With fans chanting “let’s go Royals” from the stands and coach Spenser Proctor advising the team from the sideline, the boys put “in an amazing effort”, according to freshman Benjamin Strunk.


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In the end, the team fell to the Kentucky Christian Knights 4-1 with the one goal being scored by Keenan Ross.

The girls followed later in the night. While they did lose to the Kentucky Christian Knights 3-2, they played a “stressful show stopper game,” according to freshman Will Clark. The two goals were scored by Abby Barron and Shelby Green. During the game, many of the fans got into various chants echoing throughout the stands including the word “koinonia”, the theme of chapel this semester.

The boys play next this Saturday at 1 p.m. versus Appalachian Bible College. The girls play next next Tuesday at 7 p.m. versus Welch College.


Opinion: The Balanced Budget Amendment is a Bad Idea

Does Sept. 17 mean anything to you? Maybe it’s your birthday or your anniversary, but it’s also the day in 1787 that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia got together for the last time and signed the new United States Constitution. I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t think about it being Constitution Day myself when the day came and passed.

The original Constitution contains several different articles that divide it up and lay out the rules and responsibilities of the various branches of government. So you might think to yourself, “Well, there are three branches of government, so there are three articles right?” Actually, there are seven articles in total and one of them could lead to some interesting times in America. Let me introduce you to our little friend, Article Five.

Article Five lays out how the Constitution can be amended. The most popular way for an amendment to be added is for two-thirds of each chamber of Congress to approve it, and then for three-fourths of the states to approve it. In fact, this method is so popular that it’s how all 27 amendments have been proposed and ratified. However, Article Five does lay out another way an amendment can be added. It says that, “or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States,” which means that if two-thirds of the states agree to hold a convention and work out an amendment and it is then approved by three-fourths of the states, it would be added as an amendment.

When you look back at the frame of mind of the founding fathers this makes sense. They were afraid of a central government that could potentially fall away to a strong executive. They included this measure to provide the states a way to protect themselves should this happen. Well, in the 231 years since the Constitution was signed, the states have never called for such a convention…but it could be happening soon.

Now I’m no math expert, but I can tell you that two-thirds of fifty is 34. That means that all it takes is 34 states agreeing to hold a convention and one would have to be called. The convention can propose anything it wants but their proposal would still have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states, which is 38. While the convention can be called for any reason, most of the advocates for a convention are calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA). If the BBA was enacted, the federal government would no longer be allowed to spend more than its income, which primarily comes from taxes on their own people. The BBA sounds like a good idea considering the national debt is currently over $21 trillion. However, if the BBA was enacted, there would be new, enormous problems that would plague our country.

For example, let’s say the BBA is enacted and the federal government can no longer spend more than it makes. One solution seems simple then: just don’t spend more than we make. It sounds easy enough, but it’s actually impossible. When someone says “government spending”, the first things that a lot people think of are welfare, military, and social security, among many other things. The problem is that only about 25 percent of U.S. government spending is discretionary spending, meaning that the government can choose how to spend the money. About 75 percent of it goes to paying off interest on our loans, social security, and several other mandatory things the government has to pay. So you can kiss any kind of discretionary spending goodbye. Don’t worry though, because it only means they would have to stop funding the military, healthcare, welfare, and just a few other small trivial things like federal college loans, disaster relief funds for natural tragedies, you know, nothing big at all. And since that still wouldn’t be enough to balance the budget, taxes would have to drastically be increased as well. Have I made my point? This would be a disaster for the United States and all its people.

So, the other solution is to have a drastic tax increase. By no means does anybody want to have their taxes raised, but it would mean that we would have a balanced budget and get to keep vital government services. The only problem is that we wouldn’t have a whole lot of money to spend ourselves on what we personally need or want. The late Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.” Taxes are a necessity in the U.S., but the government must be careful on how much it taxes its citizens.

“The balanced-budget amendment should be a no-brainer,” said former Congressman Chris Chocola. “Forty-nine of the 50 states are required to balance their budgets. Every family has to balance its budget. There is no argument against a balanced-budget amendment unless you are interested in spending more money and going deeper into debt — precisely where we find ourselves right now.”

While the former congressman has a point that families have to operate off a budget, comparing the simplicity of a family to the complexity of the budget of an international superpower is a dangerous, irresponsible comparison to make. Advocates for the BBA should instead urge the federal government to slowly find a healthy balance between spending cuts and tax increases. However, the government would have to take on massive reforms that would require them to take down their partisan blinders and work across the aisle to reform social security, military spending, and several other government programs. I strongly urge all of us to keep an active eye out for more states calling for the convention and urge their representatives to fight for spending reforms.


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.”


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.”