Chris Grubb knew God had called him to ministry. After visiting the campus in 2001, he knew Johnson University was the place God wanted him to be in order to fulfill the call to ministry, but life had other plans. On October 23, 1999, Chris was sworn into the military with the Tennessee Air National Guard as a power production technician. The commitment to serve his country conflicted with his desire to pursue his ministry degree and put his calling on hold.
Chris was deployed four times between 2002 and 2012, leaving behind his wife, five children, and his job. Chris really felt called to go into ministry in 2005 but was never able to pursue it due to working to provide for his family and serving his country through the Tennessee Air National Guard. After his first visit on campus in 2001, Chris never doubted he would return to complete his education. “I always felt like I would come back because I connected with Dr. Eaton and felt as if he put a burning desire in my heart to complete my education. Initially, I had no idea what to do, but while being deployed, I experienced a time of loneliness and had a hard time in trying to return to society and rebuild a marriage after being separated. God showed me something the world is missing and in that time I was able to see clearer God's vision for why I should be in this program.” He enrolled in the Adult Studies Program early in 2012 with the intentions to complete a degree in preaching or church leadership, but in December of 2012, Chris was deployed again. Although being deployed took him away from his family, school, and work, Chris came back with an even stronger desire to complete his degree and carry out his passion to pursue ministry.
Chris is currently enrolled in the Adult Studies Program at Johnson. He is deciding between the Preaching and Church Leadership or Counseling programs. His experience in the military made him realize just how much God is needed and specifically how counseling is needed. “You experience times of being lonely and fearful. But in those times, you need to realize that your strength and ability to face the days doesn't come from what people think about you or how you impress them, but it comes from God.” Finding strength in God was Chris's way of surviving military life. Chris worked as a power production technician for 14 years. He was a civil engineer in a squad rant and a generator technician that provided power.
“Being a Christian in the military is very difficult. You are the minority in my particular career field; I was the only one in a shop of 15 that attended church regularly. I have seen brokenness and struggles, both personally and in other people. And through those struggles, I feel called to help veterans either as a counselor or preacher. There is a huge need to help mend relationships with veterans, specifically relationships in marriage.”
Johnson is helping Chris chase his passion to help veterans and minister to their needs. Though it is difficult to juggle work, school, and family, Chris Grubb is just one example of what God is doing through the Adult Studies Program at Johnson. “The hardest thing about being in the Adult Studies Program is finding time. Finding time to study and even time to come to class can be hard. But I know this is a place full of people willing to work with me and they truly care. Most importantly, they understand. That’s what I love most about Johnson.”
Are you like Chris, looking for a career change? The Adult Studies Program offers different degree options and flexible scheduling to meet your educational needs. Request more information, schedule a visit or RSVP to an Info Session, or submit your application today.
Learn more about Dr. Vernon Eaton, beloved Johnson professor who inspired Chris to follow his dream.
Photo and story submitted by Gretchen Robards ('14)