All posts by Mina Blaylock

Mina Blaylock is a sophomore at Johnson University, a private, Christian college in East Tennessee. She is studying English, with a concentration in Writing and Rhetoric. This is her second semester writing for the Royal Scribe, her school's online media publication.


Founders’ Day celebration to take place Thursday

KNOXVILLE – Johnson University’s Founder’s Day, which will be held April 11, is a tradition of Johnson University, during which the campus community celebrates the day Johnson was founded.

For means of celebration, students, as well as faculty and staff and their families, and other friends of the JU community will join together for a day of no classes and a full schedule of planned activities, with the goal of providing fun for all.

Some of the plans for the day include, but are not limited to, a cookout on the patio of the Gally Commons, recess time, which includes a mixture of stations that participants can visit in order to participate in some of the fun, Fried Oreos and Lemon Shakeups, several athletic tournaments, the Preacher Grand Prix, as well as many other activities.

The day’s affairs will begin with a 9 a.m. chapel session, which has been altered in accordance with the day’s plans, and will continue throughout the entire day, until approximately 11 p.m.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the activities for this year’s Founder’s Day. A full schedule can be viewed below.



Spring Retreat 2019 to take place mid-April

2019-spring-retreat-design_-(002).pngJUTN- Johnson University will hold its annual spring retreat April 12-14. The event is geared toward high school youth.

The event consists of a weekend full of messages, worship, and fellowship. The theme for this year’s retreat is NEVER ALONE.

As stated on the Johnson University website, those planning the weekend’s festivities  “hope to provide a fun weekend with thought-provoking messages and a time to learn more about who they are in relation to each other.” The idea of the retreat is to provide high-schoolers an opportunity to grow their relationship with God in the midst of others who are like-minded and passionate for Christ.

Those who plan to attend must register for the event. The cost for those who register by March 22 is $40 per person. Those who register after March 22 will pay $55 per person. The registration fee covers a t-shirt, on-campus housing, and all on-campus meals (these include Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and Sunday breakfast).

For the registration and liability forms and/or more information click here.



JU senior looks forward to future working with children

As graduation approaches many Johnson University seniors start to hone in on plans for their future. This reality is no different for JU senior MaKenze Hinchey.

Hinchey looks forward with anticipation for the children of the future – her future to be exact. She is currently engaged and plans to marry after completing her schooling for her future career.

“After graduation, other than get married, I am planning on becoming a teacher,” Hinchey said. “I, hopefully, will be a teacher in Kindergarten; that would be my dream grade.”


JU senior MaKenze Hinchey enjoying a cup of coffee, one of her favorite past-times during her time in college.

Looking forward to what is to come after graduation, Hinchey reminisces on her time spent on Johnson’s campus.

“Johnson University is a great place,” Hinchey said. “I’ve made life-long friends here that I never expected I would, and I’ve just gotten so close to my professors. I feel like you don’t get that everywhere.”

During her time at JU, Hinchey has been involved around campus. One current attribution for Hinchey is serving on Student Government Association.

“I’m the Executive Director of Social Activities, which is a big thing just to say that I plan activities on campus,” Hinchey said. “My favorite part is planning the events, and that’s what we do.”

Another aspect of Johnson in which Hinchey has greatly enjoyed participating is Royal Wellness, which offers those of the JU community an opportunity to fellowship whilst working out.

“That’s one of my favorites; you don’t really realize how you can worship through exercise,” Hinchey said.

Hinchey is excited for all that is to come after graduation. As she approaches the next step of life, she uses skills learned from her time in SGA and plans for her future.

Hinchey said that her main goal in life is to glorify God. She desires to live for Him, despite the craziness happening in the world around her.


Homecoming 2019 to celebrate ‘time’

KNOXVILLE    Johnson University’s 2019 Homecoming begins today. JU alumni from all over will be retracing their steps on campus throughout the week, learning how to make the most of their time on Earth.


This year’s homecoming theme is “About Time.” The theme was adopted from the New Testament verse 2 Corinthians 4:16, which states, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

The sessions will focus on the essence of time and learning to live on God’s time scale, rather than that so commonly adopted by mankind. The idea from this is that those who choose to learn to live on God’s time scale will be able to participate “in both the loud and subtle ways God’s Kingdom is working in the world today” (

The purpose of this year’s homecoming, as stated on Johnson’s website, is to

  • Celebrate the 125 years of work God has done through Johnson University
  • Add your stories to a timeline of Johnson University that will line the Marble Hallway
  • Reconnect and renew relationships formed at Johnson
  • Worship, study, and practice together the ways God might renew us inwardly so that we might continue to participate in God’s redemptive work in the world

Speakers for the week will include David Fleer, professor at Lipscomb, preacher, storyteller; Mark Nelson, lead pastor at Crossings; and Heather Gorman, NT professor at Johnson. Workshops and morning prayer will be led by Jody Owens and Bill Wolf.

The festivities began at 9:00 this morning and will continue through 1 p.m. on Thursday. A full schedule of the week’s events can be found here.


Gilpin enters JU record books

KNOXVILLE   On Jan. 22, Johnson University senior Taylor Gilpin scored his 2,000th  point of his college basketball career.

This was a big accomplishment for Gilpin, who only scored 100 points during his high school career.

“I’ve been averaging 18 points a game, so I knew I’d be on pace for it, and I felt pretty good about it coming into the game,” Gilpin said. “I was confident I’d get it today.”


Brandon Perry and Taylor Gilpin after Tuesday night’s game

Gilpin attributes all of his accomplishments thus far to God.

“It was crazy,” Gilpin said. “I mean, I couldn’t help but just thank God for all that He’s done. I came from high school, where I didn’t play very much…Going from 100 to 2,000 [points] in college, it’s just crazy to see all that God’s done. I can’t take any glory; it’s all been God. And I’m just super thankful for that, just the way He’s used me.”

Head Coach for the Johnson Royals men’s basketball team, Brandon Perry, is very proud of Gilpin’s accomplishments, including but not limited to this particular achievement.

“This marker is not really a definer of the type of player he is, but it’s an announcement to everyone else that says…‘oh my goodness, this guy is something special’,” Coach Perry said. “I’ve known it from day one, and for me to get to see that, to be a part of his life for four years   all this stuff from basketball, it’s great    but it’s the way that he loves my son and the way that he’s been a part of my family, the way he has led our team for four years. For him to score 2,000 was great, but all of that stuff is even better…He’s just been amazing. I don’t even know that I can say the right words.”

Gilpin is very grateful to everyone who has helped him reach this point in his career.

“I just wanna thank my team. It’s all my team that has allowed me to get here; they’ve been the ones that have pushed me, that have helped me get to this point, and that have encouraged me,” Gilpin said.

Gilpin also said that his family and his coach have played a major part in getting him to where he is today.

“My coach has just been awesome. He’s built confidence in me to be the player I’ve become,” Gilpin said. “My parents   my dad    he always spends time with me in the gym. Growing up, we’d spend countless hours just shooting hoops in the gym and in the driveway. My family, which is my team, and my coach have all been super amazing, and I’m thankful for them and having them in my life.”

Perry predicts that Gilpin still has great things ahead of him. He said if Gilpin has more games like Tuesday’s, he has the potential to push his way from being 5th in scoring to being 2nd .  If the team makes the national title game, Gilpin has a good shot at placing 1st.


U.S. skies shadowed by super blood wolf moon eclipse, Sunday


mina's photo - eclipse

A super blood wolf moon eclipse was seen across the skies of the U.S. on Sunday evening into the early hours of Monday morning. This sight was a combination of a super moon, a wolf moon, and a total eclipse, or blood moon. Viewers were able to watch the eclipse begin around 9:36 p.m. It did not reach totality until a few minutes after midnight. The viewing time of the total eclipse ended around 12:43 a.m.

The moon is classified as a supermoon during the time of the month when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit. A wolf moon gets its name by being the first full moon of the new year. When the moon is completely in Earth’s shadow, it is referred to as a total lunar eclipse, or blood moon. A combination of these three classifications best described Sunday night’s sky show: the super blood wolf moon eclipse.

Knoxville, Tenn. saw some clouds at the beginning of the eclipse. However, as it reached totality, the clouds moved out of the way, giving a better view to those watching.


Large turnout for Coffeehouse

Johnson University held its first Coffeehouse of the 2018-19 school year on Monday, Nov. 5.

Coffee was sold by the Underground Coffeeshop for $1 per cup, and the Johnson community gathered together to watch their friends and classmates perform in the television room of the Underground.

Many sang songs, some of which they wrote, while others performed comedy acts. Some students even displayed their artwork for everyone to see.

Sixteen different acts performed on the public stage, in addition to the six pieces of artwork that were on display. Over seventy students showed up to support their JU community.

Andrew Isenberg, a sophomore, performed four songs at Coffeehouse, two of which he wrote.

“I was humbled by not only the extraordinary display of talent in the show, but the attitude and fervor of both the audience and fellow performers,” Isenberg said.

Whitney McIntyre, a sophomore, helped plan the event as part of the committee of social activities for Student Government Association.

“Being on the social activities committee for SGA, I was able to help plan a little for Coffeehouse,” McIntyre said. “It was super fun being a part of hosting auditions and being able to get excited beforehand about the acts that were performing for the student body. Everybody on the social activities committee did an amazing job working together to plan such a wonderful event.”


Coffeehouse signups are here, auditions next week

Coffeehouse will take place in the Underground Coffeeshop, located in the Eubanks Activity Center on campus, Monday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m.

Coffeehouse is a time for the campus community to come together and share their talents with one another. Some people sing, others read poetry they have written, and some choose to display artwork on tables for all to observe.

Those who participate also have the option to enjoy a cup of coffee from the Underground Coffeeshop for just $1.

For anyone who would like to share his or her talents with the rest of Johnson’s community, signups will be taking place this week during lunch hours in the Gally Commons.

Another option for signing up is to follow the link posted below:
Those who sign up for coffeehouse will need to participate in auditions, which will be held on Monday, Oct. 29 from 7-9 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 1 from 7-9 p.m.



Orange and Black Affair to be held Oct. 31

A Halloween celebration, the Orange and Black Affair will take place on Wed., Oct. 31, 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Gally Commons on campus.

In light of fun for the holiday, JU’s Student Government Association will be hosting many festivities. There will be a costume contest, for which winners will be drawn at 8:00 p.m. In addition to the costume contest, there will be several other fun happenings of the evening, including: karaoke, a haunted house, a photo booth, candy, corn hole, 9 Square, Kanjam, pumpkin painting, and a pumpkin launch.

Mallory Galloway, an SGA member, encourages all of campus to participate.

“Orange and Black is a time to come together, enjoy some fall spirit and have a good time as a community,” Galloway said.

She wants everyone to join in on the fun.

“Having the time to be able to just have some fun and kind of ‘be a kid’ again is refreshing, and everyone should take advantage of it,” Galloway said. “So come be a part of it.”

Matt Mangrum, another SGA member, is most excited about the pumpkin launch.

“We are going to launch pumpkins with a 3-person slingshot from the top of the hill (near the chapel) down the street and see which one goes farther,” Mangrum said.

“We are going to be doing this by class, kind of like the Preacher Grand Prix. Each class will assemble some sort of a team and will get 3 pumpkins to shoot. The farthest one will win.”

This part of the event will take place at 7:15 p.m.


JU’s first open dorms of semester sparks discussion


Students worshiping together in Brown Hall during open dorms, Sept. 27.

Johnson University held open dorms for the first time this semester in Brown Hall, Sept. 27. While open dorms has been an event for a while, it is currently being debated.

Open dorms take place twice a month, once in each of the residence halls. This is a time when guys are allowed into the girls’ rooms, or vice versa, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.


Tyler Lopes, sophomore.

Several students spoke out about their personal viewpoint about open dorms; some even offered ideas to help better these monthly happenings. Many ideas, both positive and negative, have been presented on the topic of open dorms.

“It’s great to be able to hang out with the females in our home and theirs,” said sophomore, Tyler Lopes. “It’s kind of a more intimate feeling when you get to go into their home and see how they live, and I’m sure it’s the same for them. I do think it should happen more often, honestly. If it was every week, I think it would, after a while, be a part of your schedule. It would be part of the routine, and it wouldn’t be such a big deal. I think more people would participate.”


Jacob Leimeister, senior.

Jacob Leimeister, a senior, said that open dorms is awkward, but he likes that he can invite anyone to come in and watch a movie. He also believes that open dorms should happen more often.

Josh Stahlman, commuter.

“I think it’s a good idea, because it’s a way for the community to interact,” Josh Stahlman, who is a commuter, said. “This is a more natural environment (for students to hang out), outside of the classroom environment.”

Brooke Effland, sophomore.

“I like getting to hang out with my friends and see where each of us live. It’s really cool to spend time with them in a place where we normally don’t get to,” said Brooke Effland, who is a sophomore. Effland’s opinion is that open dorms should happen more often. She says that “it opens up more opportunity for community- actually getting to do things together in our normal spaces.”

“I can hang out with girls, not in the dorm, and I’m fine with that,” Benjamin Strunk, a freshman, said. Strunk believes open dorms could be made less awkward by happening more often, although he prefers they not happen at all.

“Because it is only one time a month for the guys and the girls, it seems like more of a hassle than anything right now,” Resident Assistant, Justus York, said.
Because York is an RA, he is required to participate in open dorms, however, he’d rather they not happen.

“We could either just get rid of them entirely, or make them for large sporting events, like Super Bowl Sunday and like maybe the NCAA Championship,” York said.


Brandon Toro, senior.

“I like that anyone can come and go whenever they please,” Brandon Toro, a senior, said. “It’s very friendly, like over here all the doors are open. Not having open dorms, most people’s doors are closed, and you can’t talk to them at all. We should have them more often, because it would be a friendly atmosphere every single day.”

Students have different opinions concerning open dorms. What do you think? Should they stay or go? Should they happen more often or not at all? Tell us how you really feel by clicking the link below to take a short survey on the matter:

You can also email any suggestions you may have to Cana Thompson at