After six years in the Marines as a combat engineer officer, Jamin Bailey (’06) planned to become a navy chaplain until he learned about Corporate Chaplains of America (CCA), which sends chaplains into workplaces to “build caring relationships with the hope of gaining permission to share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ in a non-threatening manner.”
“This mission statement is what won me over,” he says. “Although we are going into secular workplaces, we can be focused on evangelism and reaching people for Christ.” Jamin serves as a regional director for CCA, leading a team of 27 chaplains serving more than 13,000 employees in industries ranging from auto parts to aerospace engineering. Each corporate chaplain visits every workplace every week, spending time with every employee.
“Some people just say hi and go about their day, while others want to have deeper conversations,” Jamin says. “It’s all permission-based and nothing is forced on anyone. Seventy percent of the employees we work with have no church home, so sometimes we’re asked to do funerals and step into peoples’ lives in very significant ways. We also connect people to local churches and pastors as much as we can.”
CCA provides chaplains to 530 companies in 43 states, and the demand continues to grow.
“We are granted access to these companies and these people, and we take that privilege seriously,” Jamin says. “Our goal is to lead them to Christ.”
Loretta Lee Chung is not afraid of change.
She grew up in Hong Kong and worked with her husband Her in the South Pacific for eight years. Together they learned the oral language Merei, created an orthography for it, and then used it to translate the Bible.
In 2003 the Chungs moved to China, where they raised their children and Loretta worked in financial management and in administration, first at a nonprofit and then at an international children’s school.
“Three years ago I wanted to pursue my dream of an MBA,” she says. “I believe God gave me a talent for administration, and I wanted to update my knowledge and skills so I can serve others more effectively.”
She chose the Johnson MBA (Master of Business Administration) because her family and colleagues praised the University and because the program had a biblical component.
“I loved interacting with Christian professors and the students in my cohort,” she says. “It is a challenging program, but the other scholars are encouraging, not competitive. We helped each other succeed, and it felt like we were working together for a better world.”
Today Loretta is once again facing changes; the Chungs moved to Hong Kong for Her’s health and cannot return to China until the Coronavirus scare has passed.
“I am already thinking about my next career goals,” she says. “Johnson’s mission statement is to educate students for Christian ministries, and I am ready to use my skills in business as my next ministry.”
From central Florida to central England, Crystal Hutcheson has used her education at Johnson University Florida to make a difference around the world.
Hutcheson graduated from JUFL in 2006 with a degree in Christian leadership; while at Johnson she also studied graphic design at Valencia College. (Beginning this fall, students will be able to study graphic design at Johnson Florida with the new BFA in Visual Media Production and Design!)
After working in student ministry and communications at Christ’s Church Mandarin in Jacksonville, Florida, Hutcheson joined the team at Christian Missionary Fellowship as a missionary in Nottingham, England. This work included youth ministry, teaching religious education classes in local schools, leading afterschool clubs, and building relationships with students.
“I worked in Nottingham for two years and loved it, but the visa laws were changing and I couldn’t stay in England,” she says. “Florida Christian College asked me to come back and work in admissions.”
Hutcheson was able to serve on the admissions team during the transition to Johnson University Florida, growing into a leadership role that, as she puts it, “began with handing out brochures and ended with creating the brochures!”
Today Hutcheson works at Real Life Christian Church in Clermont, Florida, as the branding director, where she continues to use every aspect of her undergraduate education to build God’s kingdom.
“I love that my job is not just graphic design, but also involves the biblical knowledge I learned at Johnson,” she says. “I also have opportunities to use my passion for student ministry and to teach groups of young adults.”
Hutcheson also lives just a few hundred feet from the Pulse Nightclub, the site of the 2016 shooting rampage that killed 49 people and injured 53.
“My roommates and I were here the night of the shooting and watched it happen from our home,” she says. “It was terrifying. We decided to be more intentional about loving our neighbors, and I’ve served on a board for our neighborhood, working with local government to find ways to celebrate our community and its history. I’ve also been able to connect some local government agencies with Real Life and build bridges to discover ways we can work together.”
“I knew I wanted to work in human services during my entire time at Johnson University Florida,” Maia Mastoridis says. “I just didn’t know what form it would take.”
As a 2018 graduate of JUFL, Maia’s work currently takes the form of mentoring, building relationships, and serving teenage girls at the Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services Residential Care Facility in Carmi, Illinois. Maia serves as the campus coordinator, working with six to eight teenage girls on emotional regulation and practical living skills.
“I hang out with the girls, help them with homework, and just spend time with them,” Maia says. “I am not a therapist, but I have a ‘caseload’ of specific girls to connect with. I’m also the primary contact for crisis calls three nights a week.”
The home includes four cottages—three for young women and one for young men. Full-time house parents live in each cottage.
“Most of our clients come to us with trauma backgrounds, severe attachment issues, and a variety of mental health diagnoses. We provide basic needs—food, shelter, clothing, medical care—and then work to restore trust and facilitate healing and attachment. I use my degree and the skills I learned in my internships at JUFL every day!”
Wendy Ramsey prefers to stay out of the spotlight. The New York Times had other plans.
“We were gifted a house to use as our new building, and we held a banquet to raise funds to renovate it,” she says. “The banquet speaker brought a Times reporter with her, and a year later that reporter asked to do a story.”
Ramsey, (’10), is doing newsworthy work as the executive director of Options Pregnancy Help Center in Newport, Tennessee. The ministry offers counseling, referrals for housing and social services, and help with food and clothing for new moms and their babies. The Center is clearly pro-life, but Ramsey believes this approach must include not only preventing abortions but also providing resources. Under her leadership, Options offers opportunities for women to earn “Baby Bucks” by volunteering or watching educational videos and to trade their “Bucks” for baby clothes and supplies. Ramsey also works closely with Newport’s schools, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations to provide holistic support networks for the moms, dads, and children who come to Options.
“I work closely with Save the Children, which prepares children for kindergarten,” she says. “I work with the health department, pediatric doctors, county leaders, and law enforcement. There are so many good people in our county, and we know we have a problem, so we work together to solve it.”
According to the Times, Newport’s problems include a third of its residents living below the poverty line, almost 50% of children not living in a two-parent home, and rampant drug use.
“Before leading Options, I volunteered with a ministry that worked with women in jail,” Ramsey says. “I understand the issues facing our city, and I believe so many times it comes back to women not understanding their worth. If a mother does not know Jesus, the baby is not going to have the life it should have. We must take the message of the gospel to these women if they are going to be the best parents and the best people they can be. If we are pro-life, we must ask how we can not only save a life but give an abundant life in Christ.”
Visit JohnsonU.edu/Spring2020Jmag to read the New York Times story about Wendy’s work.
As a teenager, Judah Tangshing worked in the gold mines in the jungles of Myanmar to raise money to attend the University of Mandalay. But God had other plans for his education. While studying there, Judah felt called to reach the unreached of his country and moved to Kissimmee, Florida to attend Florida Christian College (now Johnson University Florida) on a full scholarship. Judah had just married his wife, Khaw, but he left his new bride and came to Florida prepared to stay for a year–not realizing he had chosen a two-year program. He stayed and completed his bachelor of theology degree in 1997.
After graduation, Judah returned to Myanmar (and to Khaw!), and the couple moved to a village on the outskirts of Yangon that was completely unreached. With almost no help, they began to implement their vision for a ministry to the most vulnerable in the village, bringing orphans to their house and inviting friends and new converts to gatherings for teaching and worship. Judah reached out to churches and individuals he’d met while in Florida to help raise support.
Today, Judah is the founder and president of Mission Myanmar, a nonprofit organization established in 2017 and administered by Real Life Christian Church in Clermont, Florida. Judah and Khaw pastor their home church at the Yangon Orphanage and oversee orphanages, church plants, evangelists, and sponsorships for Bible college students. Judah and Khaw also organize and deliver disaster relief supplies, host community outreach events, host training seminars, and teach and preach. Judah was recently appointed the chairperson of all Yangon Division churches of Christ, and Khaw serves as chairperson over all women’s ministries.