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Professor reaching students to bring glory to God
November 24, 2003
By Ericia Boggs
Jimmy Scroggins was not always so sure of his calling. In fact, he was not always so sure he would live.
Scroggins, assistant professor of evangelism at Boyce College, once battled cancer. Now fully recovered, Scroggins teaches and ministers in order to bring spiritual health to young people.
Growing up in Florida, Scroggins was raised in a Christian family and went to church all of his life.
He credits his parents for his desire and love for God.
“My parents taught me to study the Word of God,” Scroggins said.
After graduating from high school in 1989, he went to the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., to prepare for a career in the military and politics. However, soon after, he found out that he had cancer.
God’s bringing him through that experience “set the tone for my ministry.”
He did not specifically have a call to ministry at that time, but he knew God had a purpose for his life.
“God really showed me that I belonged to Him and that He had a purpose for me,” Scroggins said.
Because of his physical condition, he left West Point and returned home to Florida to attend Jacksonville University. There, he met his future wife Kristin.
During college, he served as a volunteer at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. Through serving in ministry under Bob Barton, who began to mentor Scroggins, he sensed God calling him into full-time ministry.
Upon receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1994, he moved to Louisville to attend Southern Seminary. At that time, the seminary was going through some difficult times.
But, he said that “it was an exciting time to be here because I believed in Dr. Mohler’s vision for Southern.”
At the end of that year, he and Kristin married and lived in Louisville while he ministered as the youth pastor of First Baptist Church of Shepherdsville, Ky. After he received his master of divinity in 1996, he took the youth pastor position at Grace Baptist Church in Evansville, Ind.
In 1997, he was called to his current position as minister to students at Highview Baptist Church, where Kevin Ezell serves as pastor.
“I’m so thankful to have my family under his ministry,” Scroggins said.
Scroggins said he looks to both Ezell and David Adams, professor of youth ministry at Boyce College, as his mentors.
“Through their leadership and training, I have grown in my passion for young people, my leadership ability and my ministry skills,” he said.
His ministry to students centers around being “culturally relevant without being culturally infected; mostly, however, it is for the purpose of young people and their families to grow in their relationship with Christ, impacting the world for Christ,” he said.
Scroggins has served as an adjunct professor at Boyce for several years. But in May 2003, he received his Ph.D. in evangelism from Southern Seminary and was immediately hired as assistant professor of evangelism for Boyce. He is currently teaching youth culture at Boyce and will teach personal evangelism during J-term.
In addition to serving as professor at Boyce and minister at Highview, Scroggins is also a father. He and Kristin are the parents of five boys.
“I adore my family,” he said. “I love my wife and boys. I desire that God will use my family to bless others and that He’ll use my boys to tell others about Jesus all over the world.”
His desire for reaching the world for Christ and “influencing a lot of influencers” is also evident in his ministry to the students at Highview. More than 100 Highview students have been called into full-time ministry, and they are ministers throughout world.
He believes that God has strategically placed Highview Baptist Church in Louisville and sees the church’s partnership with Southern and Boyce students as being strategic in advancing the Kingdom of God.
“God wants us to train leaders for the world,” he said.
Scroggins’ believes that in order to have a ministry that reaches the world for Christ and glorifies God, students must be involved in ministry now, not later.
“You should have a consistent, week-to-week local church ministry now, and you should keep grounded and focused on real people,” he said. “The Gospel and theology is used for God’s glory when it’s applied to the lives of people.”