Oxford’s director of mission studies explains history, direction of program

Thomas Harvey, dean of Oxford’s missions, graduated from Wheaten Collage, Asbury Theological Seminary, the University of Notre Dame and has a Ph.D. in theology from Duke University. He has also spent 15 years living between China and Singapore and wrote a book entitled, “Accented with Grief.

President of Johnson University, Gary Weedman said Harvey and his wife, “have a deep heart and passion to extend God’s kingdom among all nations.”

Harvey said that the reason Oxford’s Centre for Missions studies was founded is to bring fresh air back into the failing western missions culture.

“Western missions have become deeply implicated with western imperialism and western colonialism,” he said.

This made western missions almost fruitless. Some countries did not even want missionary’s to come anymore because they could not separate the idea of a missionary from a conqueror.

When the OCMS was founded in 1883 they made new principles that would allow them to reach back into the mission field in a new way.

They made it a point to have at least 60 percent of their conceal of trustees be from the two-thirds world.

Along with this, their research brings together faith and action. “we listen to our students,” Harvey said. After that he showed a presentation of the grad student’s studies.

Harvey said he believes that missions is one the most exciting fields a person could get involved in.

He left the stage challenging the Johnson University students to get involved with missions.


New band at Johnson taking leap forward by releasing their first EP

Tanner Rutherford, Cord Johnson, Ben Mcgue and Dane Alexander are second semester freshmen at Johnson University, and make up the band “The Valley Opera.”

“The Valley Opera” has only been a band for three months and is wasting no time trying to gain pliability by releasing their first EP.

“This is a self titled album,” said Rutherford.

The reason being is that there is no real story behind the EP. It is just made up of miss- matched songs Rutherford has written in the past few years.

They might not have a story in the EP, but they definitely do have diverse musicality. All of the songs are based around different styles of music.

“Lets just call it Americana,” said Rutherford.

Meaning that there is not one set style; it is influenced by jazz, R&B, rock and blues.

Fans might have trouble pinning them down in the gene section when their EP releases on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Music.

They can be found on Facebook which has links to their music and upcoming events.


Homecoming continues despite snow in the area

P1040835.jpgMelissa Keck, secretary to Kevin O’Brien, says that the Homecoming sessions are still on schedule.

Due to last nights flurries, Johnson University’s homecoming was threatened to cancel.

After watching the weather report and roads, the university decided to put regular classes on delay, but keep the main sessions on schedule. After awhile the roads seemed to clear up and become drivable again.

Johnson University still wishes to encourage caution to those commuting the event. Knoxville, Tennessee may still have on and off fluries the rest of the night, and a winter weather advisory will be in place until 4 p.m. this evening.

“We understand that not everyone will be able to make it,” Keck said. “But the show must go on. Whoever makes it will make it and whoever doesn’t, doesn’t.”

The first session is scheduled to open this evening at 7 p.m. A reception will follow directly after and at 9:15 p.m. the Council of Seventy will meet in Kevin O’Brien’s office.

Knoxville is averaging 85 percent humidity and tonight’s temperature will be dropping below freezing around 9 p.m., so there may be ice collecting on the roads before commuters retire for the night. A gentile breeze will also bring windchill, making it feel on average four degrees colder. All attending should dress for freezing temperatures.




Johnson students to celebrate Black History month

Johnson University chapel will be celebrating Black History month Feb. 3-5. Chapel will meet in the gymnasium all three days from 9 to 9:50 a.m.

According to Andrew Frazier, who is currently organizing chapel in collaboration with Dean of the Chapel Bill Wolfe during his absence, the theme of the week is the experiences and role of African Americans in the Restoration churches.

The hope of the week is to view the Restoration Movement from an African American perspective and honor their contributions to the Restoration Movement.

“It adds to the cultural experiences and understandings we want to offer our students,” Frazier said. “It gives them an opportunity to learn and study about different aspects of history.”

The keynote speaker for the week will be Jerry Taylor who is an assistant professor of Bible in the department of Bible, Missions and Ministry at Abilene Christian University. Taylor holds a doctorate in ministry and Frazier mentioned that many of Johnson’s faculty and staff who know Taylor are thrilled about his coming.

According to Abilene Christian University’s website, Taylor is a Tennessee native, born in Covington, Tenn. and grew up in Millington, Tenn.

In addition to Taylor, the gospel choir Praise, Honour and Glory from Knoxville, Tenn., will be on campus that week hosting a concert in the Alumni Memorial Chapel on Feb. 5.

Another change is that worship that week will be non-student led. Frazier said that the hope is to find a worship leader from a local church with experience leading in the African American community in order to broaden the cultural experience of the week, though it is still in the works.


Frazier gives back to Johnson University upon graduation

 When Dean of Chapel Bill Wolfe learned about his upcoming trip to study in Scotland, it was Andrew Frazier who he approached to step in and lead chapel during his absence.

Frazier is a native of Atlanta, where he spent his entire childhood. At 18 Frazier left Atlanta for Knoxville, where he enrolled in Johnson University (formally Johnson Bible College) in the fall of 2009, graduating the spring of 2013.

The summer after graduation, Frazier immediately began working in the registrar office. Eventually he moved to admissions before going back to the registrar as an assistant, which is where he is now.

Frazier is currently working on his Master’s of New Testament at Johnson University, and while he said that he is still currently seeking his calling, he continues to take steps to prepare for whatever it may be.

“It’s a day-to-day process figuring that out,” Frazier said. “I love the idea of being in higher education.”

Most recognizably, Frazier has been assisting in the organization of chapel while Wolfe has been absent.

Frazier’s first experience with chapel came during his senior year at Johnson, during which he served as the president of the Student Government Association, which entailed speaking in chapel regularly. Recognizing that experience, Wolfe quickly asked for Frazier’s assistance.

“I hope chapel is forming mentally, spiritually and physically,” Frazier said. “I hope I can continue to be a voice of the younger generation.”

By taking such a visible role, Frazier hopes he has been a positive influence in the Johnson community throughout the past semester.


Fun, games planned for education students

Johnson University Templar School of Education is hosting a game night for all education students as a way to build relationships between the students and to have fun at the same time.

The date for game night will be announced at a later time.

The Johnson University Templar School of Education is having a night of games and fun for all education students.

The game night is tentatively scheduled for February, but the exact date will be decided soon.

Karen Eastep, field experience coordinator for the Johnson University Templar School of Education, said that the goal of game night is for the students to grow closer as a whole and to have fun in doing so.

There will be bingo, minute to win it style games and more.

Invitations will be sent out through the Johnson post office.

Education students should be checking the mail for the invitations if you have not received one yet.


JU students celebrate school spirit

For the past week, Johnson University students had an opportunity to show their school spirit by dressing according the theme for each day.

Themes included “Space Jam”, twins, animals and kids and Royal pride day.

University students across the country have different ways of showing school spirit. At Johnson University, students dressed like animals, kids and paid tribute to the Looney Tunes classic, “Space Jam” during spirit week.

The week of Jan. 26-30, on the JUTN campus, was one that might be a bit confusing to anyone who happened to wander onto campus.

A few students were dressed as anything from children to “Space Jam” characters, depending on the day’s theme.

This activity was a way for students to let loose and show their creativity in the name of school spirit.

“Kid day is probably my favorite day because it is an opportunity to be a kid again, both by dressing like one and acting like one,” Jordyn Pearson, a JU sophomore said.

Some students see spirit week as an opportunity to break the daily norm.

“Honestly I enjoy spirit week because it is a change from our regular day-to-day lives and lets us all have fun together,” Laurel Gregory, a JU sophomore said.

Some students find spirit week as a way to build up the JU community.

“I participate in spirit week because it adds some excitement, and we are able to just have fun, be a part of the JU community, be out of the ordinary, and just embrace our silliness,” Chloe Martin, a JU sophomore said.

Other students participate just because they enjoy it.

“I enjoy spirit week because it is a fun activity to show off your school spirit,” Emily Hughes, a JU sophomore said.

The point behind spirit week was for the students to unite and use that commonality they all have.

However, few students have actually come together as a community and just have fun for one-week out of the year just to show their school spirit.

This could possibly be because the students just are not interested in doing activities like this any more because they seem childish.



Franklin Christian Church lead minister speaks at Johnson University chapel

Johnson University students were reminded Thursday of the importance of not thinking like a Pharisee.

Guest speaker Zack Stewart, lead minister at Franklin Christian Church, located just outside Nashville, delivered a gripping message. It was based on Luke 5 and the story of the paralytic man lowered through the roof to the feet of Jesus.

He particularly focused on the Pharisees that were present in the narrative and their role in the events that played out.

The main idea of the message was that each Christian can often act like a Pharisee. Stewart then outlined the characteristics of a Pharisee compared to the characteristics we as Christians should embody.

“I enjoyed it,” Matthew Snyder, a JU freshman, said. “He made a good point that in a way we can all have a little bit of Pharisee in us.”

While many preachers speak on Luke 5 and the paralytic, Stewart approached it from a distinctively different viewpoint than most.

“He had a really different perspective about a scripture than what I have heard a lot of times before,” said Josiah Roberts, a JU student.

According to the Franklin Christian Churches website, Stewart has been at the church since June 2011, where he ministers to a congregation of approximately 1,000 members.

Jon Spears and an accompanying band of students kicked the service off by setting the tone of the service through worship.

“I felt like it was actually leading worship and not a show,” said Zac Hulsey, a JU student.

Following the opening song was a recitation of a set of scriptures that led into message, spoken by Evan Duriga and Arjay Donaldson.

The chapel ended with more worship and a time of prayer for the spread of the gospel in southern Africa and for the missionaries already working there.


Johnson professor’s home renovation continues

Plant Services’ Construction branch is continuing necessary renovations on professor Jody Owen’s home, located on campus.

Four months ago extensive moisture and termite damage was found in the home.

“We had to decide to tear it down or try and work with what we had,” said project supervisor Joe Kelley. “The Trustees decided to work with what we had.”

Despite the Trustees’ decision, Kelley still describes the project as “rebuilding” the home.

“We’ve completely gutted that house, it was down to just the exterior studded walls and the roof,” he said.

The project has been long in the works.

“It’s time consuming,” Kelley said. “We are getting everything back solid, in good shape, and proceeding on.”

The project is indeed progressing. They expect to soon have the interior walls up and the plumbing and electrical work is soon to follow.

Not everything about the house will be the same.

“Some changes have been made to the floor plan since we have the place gutted,” Kelley said.


Intramural basketball season moves into week two with intense competition

This week of games starting Tuesday, made for highly competitive games that had two games end in victories of five points or less.

With the red team highlighting Thursday matchups, and a decisive victory over the yellow team, Cody Wagner and Ty Asbury led the team.  

“This was a great team win that shows we are all in playing for each other,” Wagner said. “We play to compete for a full forty minutes and at the same time being the best teammates we can be.”

The captain of the red team backed Wagner’s statement.

“We had a great role in showing sportsmanship while also showing great a competitive drive that resulted in us coming away with a great second win, “Asbury said. “Intramurals are a great way to get some exercise while also being able to fellowship and compete with your brothers.”

Another team that was expected to play well came away with a loss on Thursday ‘s game. Keith Harper, the blue team’s captain, commented on their game.

“As the team captain, I have to get everyone to improve in encouraging each other in bad times and also competing to their best abilities,” Harper said. “This is a great chance to show a brotherhood through Christ that will go beyond sports.”

The season continues with games next Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. in the Old Gym.