by Jordan West

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) – Jesse Mitchum, Truett-McConnell College junior and World Missions major, never thought he would end up in a college so close to his home in Gainesville, Ga. As he looks back on his time at Truett-McConnell, he finds himself thankful that God’s plans were different than his own.

Love of the Father

Mitchum gave his life to Christ as a 13-year old at his home church, Dewberry Baptist. He shared, “I was raised by my mom all my life. I haven’t met my father, due to the fact my parents divorced before I was born after he had relapsed into a past drug addiction. So when I finally heard about a Heavenly Father who would never leave me or forsake me, and in fact would love me so much to send His Son to die for my sins, I knew that I owed Him my life.”

Journey to TMC

After he was saved, Mitchum was compelled to share Christ’s love as he continued his education after high school. “I had to tell everyone about the wonderful news in Christ Jesus!” Mitchum added, “I felt God was calling me into ministry around my junior year of high school, so I began looking for schools where I could get equipped for ministry.”

“When a friend of mine talked me into coming to Truett for a Preview Day, I never looked back. I could tell this was a place where the Spirit of God rested as soon as I shook my first hand that day.”

Becoming a Missions Major

Mitchum didn’t start his time at TMC as a World Missions major. “It took some time for me to surrender my major to the Lord,” he said. “I declared Music as my major because I played drums and percussion since I was in 7th grade, but I knew it was not what I was called to do. So, before my sophomore year I changed my degree and became a World Missions major. I changed it to Christian Studies to focus more on Bible study and pastoral ministry.”

It took a trip leaving the country and serving on the foreign mission field to make Mitchum’s calling clear. “It wasn’t until after I went on a mission trip to Malaysia the summer of my freshman year that God confirmed in me the call to be a missionary.”

On-Campus Encouragement

As Mitchum looks forward to his senior year, he reflected on the people who’ve invested into his life during his time at Truett-McConnell. “I am going to miss all of the incredible people I have met here,” Mitchum shared. “I think we often take for granted just how many godly men and women live and teach here on this campus.”

“I have matured so much in my relationship with Christ thanks to all of the people who have taken time to pour into me on a regular basis,” Mitchum continued. “I know that once I am on the mission field, I am going to miss just sitting down and talking to them—they are like family to me.”

Mitchum specifically referenced Dr. H. Edward Pruitt, Associate Professor of Missions and Evangelism as a mentor. “Dr. Pruitt has been a constant source of encouragement and wisdom for me since I entered into the mission program,” Mitchum emphasized. “I have learned so much from him and his leadership, especially while on the mission field.”

Missions on Campus and Abroad

Mitchum has enjoyed working on the mission field, both on campus and across foreign borders.
He has worked on campus life staff as both a Christian Life Coordinator and a Resident Assistant. “I have led a couple of Bible studies, helped develop the Umoja missions meeting, and been a CLC and an RA,” he said.

“So far I have been to Malaysia and Haiti,” Mitchum shared about his travels to different countries for missions. “God used Malaysia to confirm my calling as we worked with a melting pot of cultures and faiths.” Mitchum continued describing his love for missions by saying, “He [God] used Haiti to teach my about the stronghold that Satan has in so many places in the world, even highly evangelized ones.

“This summer I will be spending 5 weeks in Thailand for my Capstone trip. What makes this summer so great is the fact that my fiancé, MacKenzie and I feel called to Thailand to teach English, with the ultimate goal of planting churches there. So this summer will give us a preview of what is to come for us upon graduation.”

Looking Back

Though Mitchum has a year left at TMC, he is looking ahead towards the future. “As much as I dislike waking up early for class, or staying up late cramming for exams, I know that one day I will miss even those things because it will remind me of the place where I received my calling, found the most incredible woman (whom I will be marrying in August), and ultimately grew in knowledge and faith in the Word of God.”


Jordan West is a junior English major and freelance writer for TMC.

Photo/Adam Roark

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