JU Preaching Teams

Current Johnson University students are our best recruiters! However, prospective students and their families have little opportunity to interact with our students. This program recruits some of our best and brightest and offers them as resources to our churches in teams of two.

These teams will be prepared to serve in the following ways:

  • Preach during Sunday worship
  • Provide Communion meditation during worship
  • Provide offering devotional during worship
  • Teach adult Sunday School classes
  • Teach high school classes
  • Schedule Saturday night teen event with an appropriate devotional
  • Speak in small group settings
  • In all settings a brief and focused presentation of JU can be incorporated if appropriate

Our teams are available select weekends during the upcoming school year. To learn more or schedule a team, email or call 865-867-4141.

Team Timothy

Cooper Smith

Cooper SmithMinistry has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up with my dad being the pastor of our church. Ever since I was little, it was always instilled in me that a huge part of the church is serving.

As I went into high school, I began to think of careers that I wanted to pursue, but truly only ministry seemed like a good fit for me. I genuinely felt happy and passionate when I was learning about the Bible or teaching it. Through this passion, I felt God wanted me to go into ministry. I found this passion for the Bible and the church early on in my high school career, and I wanted nothing more than to serve God and serve the church.

Once I knew I wanted to be a minister, I visited Johnson’s campus to see my brother (who was a student), and I absolutely loved the area and the campus—not just the desirable weather and the fun activities, but also the people who shared a love for Christ. I could tell that the professors I met had one goal: to help me serve the church and serve God the best I could.

I haven’t regretted my decision, and I am loving being able to put my passion for Christ into action in the classroom and even in new preaching opportunities.

Brennan Perkins

Brennan PerkinsEntering my final year of high school, I felt God directing me into a life of vocational ministry. Although I was unsure about this direction at first, I decided that I had to explore this feeling, this flame that I felt on my heart. I had grown up in the church and had a solid relationship with God, but entering full-time ministry had never crossed my mind. After some serious discussion with my parents, my youth minister, and God, I had come to a decision. God had given me the direction I wanted, the direction I needed, and now I had to figure out my next steps.

After doing some of my own research and talking to the people I trust, I had a few college options in mind, and I was in the process of making visits. I was able to visit a few different schools, but after spending some time in Knoxville, Tennessee, at Johnson University, I knew exactly where I would be calling home for the next four years of my life.

After meeting my future professors in the School of Congregational Ministry and seeing the passion, intentionality, and effort that is poured into the ministry programs at Johnson, I knew God had made this decision easy for me. Now, as a student at Johnson University, I understand there is nowhere in the country that is more fit to train, educate, and develop the future leaders of the church, and my passion for ministry is only becoming stronger.

Team Titus

Tyler Tate

Tyler Tate“Out of pure faith, stand up if you feel like you are being called into ministry.” There are times in everyone’s life where a single sentence can change their direction forever. Four years ago, I heard the statement that changed my path. I had so many questions, so much fear: Where would this take me? Am I good enough to do it? What does ministry even look like? However, isn’t the Lord faithful to follow through with the calls he commands over our lives? Surely, the Lord would provide a way with my decision to pursue ministry.

Year after year would pass. I was actively serving in local ministry opportunities, completely immersed in “loving thy neighbor.” I was influenced by several of the adult leaders overseeing our high school ministry—they were the first to believe in my decision and even encouraged me to pursue education for ministry. After exploring several different options, I couldn’t shake the feeling that a small school in the hills of East Tennessee was calling me. I talked with some mentors about the school, and they couldn’t say enough great things! The faculty are extremely educated, the success for graduates is high, and Johnson has a heart for the kingdom of God. It was clear Johnson was the place for me. Johnson has the passion, heart, and willingness to continue building men and women to be leaders in ministry.

Camden Jones

Camden JonesI grew up in the church and was able to see some of the inner workings from being a preacher’s kid. My parents were so helpful in telling me they supported me in whatever I felt God calling me to. Because of this, I spent the majority of my teenage years running away from ministry because I wanted to find my own way. Rather than following what I felt God calling me to do, I wanted him to work through my own decisions.

When it came time for me to start deciding the next steps in my life, though, God overwhelmed me with his calling to step into ministry. A big leap in this was choosing to attend Johnson University. As a ministry student, I am learning how this field is both difficult and rewarding, and I’m working for the kingdom of God in unique ways. I am so excited to see where God puts me next and how I will be able to spread the gospel in more ways.