Category: Tennessee

Stories originating from Johnson University Tennessee.


Brandon Perry steps in as new Men’s Basketball Coach at TN campus

DSCN0128The Johnson Royals are welcoming the new Men’s Basketball Coach, Brandon Perry. He is a new addition to Johnson University, and  will contribute to the athletic program. Perry shows pride in what he does, and he is excited to be here at JU.

Outside of Johnson University, Perry is a full-time Senior Minister at Thorn Grove Christian Church. He is part-time at Johnson, coaching the men’s basketball team and investing in the overall community of the team.

Perry is committed to the development of the athletic program at Johnson University. His goal is to have an impact in helping the team become successful men that represent Christ in the community.

“I went into coaching to interact with young men in a more personal way,” Perry said. “It’s better to watch people grow and be a part of their lives in a unique way. For many of the players, basketball will just be for the years they are in college. My goal is to prepare guys not only for the next few years, but for many years to come of how to become men who serve Christ in the community.”

Perry played both basketball and baseball in high school, but baseball is the sport in which he ended up gaining more experience. Prior to sports related injuries, he was an athlete at Milligan College. He was also a youth minister for about eight years and an assistant basketball coach. Previous coach, Kevin Hall, recommended Perry for the position here at Johnson.

“I wanted to get back into coaching, so Kevin Hall recommended me for the job as coach and here I am,” he said.

Perry also thinks that Hall did a phenomenal job at recruiting and investing in quality players here at Johnson University. Perry believes the team will go far and develop relationships that make the team a family.

“As a coach, I believe in community and that we are not meant to live alone,” he said. “We as a team connect with a common goal.”

Outside of basketball, Perry has a few things that make him unique.

“I lead worship, I’ve played guitar for a long time, and some people might find this funny but my favorite show is The Golden Girls,” he said. “I am married and we recently just had our first son Judah.”

When asked about his experience at Johnson University so far, he had nothing but positive comments on the atmosphere and overall community.

“I love the atmosphere here at Johnson and I love that it is a community,” he said. “Athletically we are doing some really great things here at Johnson and we are looking forward to getting even better.”

Perry is definitely excited for his first season as the Men’s Basketball Coach and is more than confident that the team will succeed in not only the game, but as men of Christ.


Thank you letters arrive

As students checked their mailboxes last week, many were greeted with bright blue letters.

These deliveries included instructions for how to make a financial thank you letter for a certain assigned fund to display their gratitude for financial assistance.

Many students were greeted with blue letters last week.

Many students were greeted with blue letters last week.

The deadline for letters to be emailed for approval is Tuesday, Oct. 13 while the final signed letter must be completed by Tuesday, Oct. 20.

All students who received any kind of financial aid through Johnson are required to complete at least one thank you letter.

“The financial aid thank you letters are designed to thank the many donors who contribute to the institutional scholarships set up to help students at Johnson seek their degrees. The letters serve as a little way of keeping the connection between student and donor by showing appreciation and gratitude for the money they designated toward the school,” said Kayla Brummett, Assistant Director of Financial Aid.

Some students received more than one letter to complete, but this is normal.

“If a student receives President, Gap, Program, and Christian Ministry [scholarships] these are all different funds and require different thank you letters, so it all depends on the individual’s financial awards,” Brummett said.

It is important to read the blue letter thoroughly to ensure all guidelines are followed.

The backside features a sample letter for reference, but shouldn’t be copied word for word.

By no later than Oct. 13, students should first email their letter as a word document attachment with the specific fund name in the subject line to

Upon receiving approval, students must many any corrections advised, print the letters, and sign them.

Finalized letters should be taken to the Financial Aid Office with a $0.49 stamp per letter no later than Oct. 20.

Brummett said, “I believe that at an institution where it’s value is in preparing students for Christian ministry, that it’s important to remember who has helped further your education and by taking a few minutes to write a thank you letter it’s instilling that Christian value in our student body.”


SPSU hosts community game night

Students Promoting Social Unity (SPSU) hosted their second event of the year on October 10 with a community game night.

SPSU is in their first year as a club, but already have about fifteen members.

The community game night warms up with basketball.

The community game night warms up with basketball.

Junior Chloe Martin said, “SPSU wants to provide a safe, fun, and welcoming environment to the community in hopes to bridge the gap from the bubble and the city of Knoxville.”

The game night began in the old gym with music and basketball.

Following the hour of time to socialize and play games, participants next moved to the Gally for pizza and popcorn.

One team member finds a clue at Johnson Hall.

One team member finds a clue at Johnson Hall.

From there, participants separated into groups for a campus scavenger hunt with clues for locations such as Johnson Hall, Alumni Memorial Chapel, and the Gally.

With the club’s newness, they are not currently funded; rather, members contributed out of pocket to create an event that would promote their goals of unity and community.

The event brought high school and middle students who were involved in Emerald Youth Foundation’s “Just Lead” program, though Johnson students were also welcome.

Crystal Robinson, junior, said, “I felt like it was a good connection between Johnson University and the community.”

Robinson said that even though she grew up in Knoxville, she had not been aware of Johnson for a long time, so events like this were a great way to promote the school.

High school and middle school students join SPSU members for dinner.

High school and middle school students join SPSU members for dinner.

SPSU is excited to start connecting the school positively in Knoxville; their first event was a community day for all ages in Mechanicsville.

“I like their mission of wanting to unite the community and Johnson University,” sophomore Amy Moden said. “We want to make an impact breaking down barriers.”

Robinson said, “We are really just wanting to go into Knoxville and spread the Great Commission.”

Students who are interested in being a part of Students Promoting Social Unity can attend their meetings in room 229 of the Phillips-Welshimer Building at 6:30pm on Tuesdays.


One student’s experience serving at The Love Kitchen

As students sit in the gym waiting for their team name to be called, Marcus Graham sits on the stage along with the rest of the group leaders.

They are all preparing for Johnson’s day of caring, also called K-15.

Matt Shears, president of the Student Government Association, tells the student body about K-15.

“This event has been going on for nine years now,” Sheers said. “This is the largest attendance for K-15 we have ever had.”

An event that was started just after the 9/11 attacks to help serve the community, has now reached a new height of attendance at Johnson.

Graham has been proudly serving his time in the SGA for all four years of his college career. A third time leader of a K-15 group, he  and five other students spent the day at The Love Kitchen.

The Love Kitchen has been serving the community around it for 15 years, and seeks to help the low income families around Knoxville.

Located next to the AME Mount Zion Church, the students found the sweet smell of lamb chops lofting through a gated parking lot.

The Love Kitchen Manager sat outside on a smoke break while the rest of the people were inside hard at work.

Several men and women sat inside in old, hole-ridden and dirty clothing, watching the news on a flat screen television.

All of the volunteers headed inside to prepare for the dinner they would be serving five hours later.

Marcus Graham wore a white plastic apron while standing in front of a steel table.

On his left side he had a bucket of lamb chops, grabbing each one and slicing away any fat that might be on it, then placing the cut meat on a pan. Read More


Family Promise provides family sanctuary in rough waters

EDITOR’S NOTE: Royal Scribe reporters visited with some of the people being helped by the organizations students interacted with on K-15. This is the story of one such family.

Crystal Presley breathes a  sigh of relief and watches her three children. One sits at a computer doing homework while the other two chat together quietly on a couch, giggling occasionally.

This scene is exactly what one would expect from a family in a safe environment, and that is exactly what Family Promise aims to accomplish.

Family Promise is an organization that takes in families such as the Presleys, who have no home.

While most such organizations do not allow teenage boys like Joseph Presley to stay in the same place as his mother or sisters,

Family Promise’s main goal is to keep families intact and allow them to live as normally as possible while in the program.

This is accomplished through Family Promise’s unique approach to housing.

Read More


Future missionary practices his faith during k-15


Josiah Caraway

Josiah Caraway

After a busy time with school assignments, papers and tests due, Josiah Caraway, a sophomore at Johnson University  relishes the fact that he is able to get away from school and be able to volunteer in the community with K-days.

Josiah, an intercultural study major, is often in the presence of non-believers, so he is comfortable with the fact he gets the chance to spread the gospel.

“K-15 gives the students a chance to get involved within impoverished communities that is in Johnson’s area. These actions can go further than just K day.” Caraway states.

Josiah Caraway is excited to serve the community in East Knoxville on K15 day.

Johnson gives students the opportunity to further their education through faith and special vocations to further God’s kingdom.

The great commission states to further extend God’s kingdom to the ends of the earth. Serving Johnson’s immediate area is not the ends of the Earth, but for students like Josiah, K-Days gives him a foresight of what his future holds.

“Being a mission major, I am able to work on the best ways to disciple within my own country,” he said. “So when I go to a foreign country I will have the proper tools to succeed.”

Caraway was excited to serve the community in east Knoxville on K-15

Many Johnson students served the homeless or had direct interaction with the community during their service.

One of the service locations was Edgewood Church Mount Zion in east Knoxville. This church is in the heart of a failing community. It is located in the most underprivileged and violent area in Knoxville.

The Gospel is necessary for this area to be able to succeed, and the students that were involved with this church and the neighboring love kitchen were affected.

“Most of the people around this area are either in government housing or homeless, so the church was involved with the community,” Caraway said. “They gave away free clothes and interacted with everyone they passed by. The love of Christ was apparent within the people of the church.”


Local organization serves college students

EDITOR’S NOTE: Royal Scribe reporters visited with some of the people helping and being helped by the organizations students interacted with on K-15. This is the story of one such family.

On Sept. 30, groups of students from Johnson University set out to various Knoxville locations with a mission of spreading love to the community. One group made its way to serve at an organization which in turn meets the needs of local college students.

About three hundred feet south of the popular Cumberland Strip, Christian Student Fellowship’s campus house sits within the borders of the University of Tennessee, one of the biggest party schools in the area.

Just inside the two-level brick building, associate campus minister Patrick Willis sits at a double-tiered desk topped with various Star-Trek and movie memorabilia. He admits to having a particular affinity for superheroes, indicating the significance of each item in his collection.

“Everything on the desk that is geeky or nerdy are the things my wife wouldn’t let me display at home,” Patrick points out jokingly.

Read More


Children of Knoxville find oasis in Water Angels

EDITOR’S NOTE: Royal Scribe reporters visited with some of the people helping and being helped by the organizations students interacted with on K-15. This is the story of one such family.

The crammed together houses in the neighborhoods of east Knoxville scream out as the forgotten child waits for his mother to come back.

The child tries to support himself without anyone’s help, but falls into the stream of inevitability of the worldly life. In the end, he is still a child that needs help.

Growing up in east Knoxville Charles Drew was in need of support in his walk of life.

His own strength was not always enough. After a recent incarceration, Drew was in need of someone to support him in the trials after his release.

Water Angels Ministry in east Knoxville was there for Drew when he needed help.

Drew was placed in the House of Grace, the men’s residence at Water Angels Ministry, where men can go through a six month rehabilitation.

Water Angels Ministry provides residents for men and women to keep each other accountable in their walk.

Drew and the other members are able to minister not only to each other, but also serve the community by feeding and clothing them. Drew said that he believes that serving them helps the people to recover from their own issues.

Read More


Johnson Preview Days start off well at Johnson University

Johnson’s first Preview Day got off to a great start, attracting 20 high school students to view the school and learn more about it.

During a Preview Day at Johnson University, high school students take a Friday to come and visit the campus.  They see an admissions presentation, tour the campus, eat lunch with the faculty, learn about financial aid, and get to meet the multiple clubs on campus.

Students were mainly interested in the majors of teacher education, public health, and music and management.

Despite the small turnout this past Preview Day, with only 20 students and 29 non-students, the first Preview Day is always the smallest.  There are currently over 30 students registered for the next Preview Day.

The next Preview Day on the Tennessee campus will be October 9th, followed by another November 6th.  The next semester has Preview Days on February 12th and March 11th.  The Florida campus has Preview Days on November 13th, February 19th, and April 8th.


Johnson takes steps to discourage students from quarry jumping


The Fort Dickerson Park quarry

One popular activity for the Knoxville community, including Johnson students, is to visit the Blount Avenue quarry at Fort Dickerson Park.

The park is a major attraction in Knoxville, but the activity of cliff jumping is illegal. Although cliff jumping is illegal, public swimming is still legal at Fort Dickerson Park.

The park provides the Knoxville community with a refreshing beautiful body of water to swim in and a nice escape into nature.

On September 16th, the Student Life announced that quarry jumping is against the law in an attempt to discourage Johnson students from jumping off the cliffs and into the quarry.

In this year alone, three people have died as a result of jumping into the Blount Avenue quarry at Fort Dickerson Park. This issue brings many concerns to the community, especially at Johnson University.

The dangers of the quarry are just as real as it is fun to jump into the water. Jumping from heights that are 80 feet or more can result in serious injuries or even death if the jumper does not use extreme caution.

Some Students at Johnson feel that quarry jumping is an exciting activity to do, and they are upset that it is illegal.

“People are aware that it’s illegal, but I guess it’s just a fun thing to do for some people,” Lindsey Tenholder, a freshman at Johnson University, remarked.

Some people feel that quarry jumping should not be illegal as long as jumpers are cautious and aware of the concequences.

“I think that if it is done safely then it should be okay for people to jump,” Kelsey Nickel said.

Senior at Johnson University, Matt Flowers, thinks that quarry jumping being illegal is for the good of the community.

“It’s smart considering people have died,” Flowers said.

Due to the deep waters and unknown rocks that lie underneath, swimmers are advised to take caution even when they are just swimming in the quarry. It is best to swim at your own risk.

Two other activities that are legal for the community include hiking and biking. If you are in need of a place to park for the quarry, most people park at the Fort Dickerson Greenway parking lot at 520 Augusta St.

The Fort Dickerson Park will continue to serve the Knoxville community as a public destination to use the resources of nature responsibly.

View of the quarry's vast beauty

View of the quarry’s vast beauty