(From Left): Steven Irby, Allie King, Chaplain John Hugh Tate, Bryan Sumner, Bailey Wood, and Eliza Lundy
Students at JA have abundant ways to build a rewarding life found in serving God and others. Chapel, Bible elective, mentoring, service, and initiating small groups are opportunities students can find here. Chaplain John Hugh Tate sees potential for students to develop additional mentoring and small group relationships in the JA community, too.
“I always say, God never meant for us to go through this life on our own,” the Rev. Tate said. “We are made and hard-wired for relationships. Students have a great opportunity within the JA community to develop small groups for discussion, prayer, or general support. In addition, I would love to see even more (and the students already do this very well) mentoring between Upper and Middle School students. It would mean so much to a younger student to have a junior or senior taking an interest in them and encouraging them.”
Chapel, offered bi-monthly on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m., is a brief, engaging time of worship, community, and prayer with JA and guest speakers. “Chapel is a place where students can discover a God who cares for them and has a great purpose for their life. I also want Chapel to highlight leaders and mentors at JA (teachers, coaches, etc.) who will help guide and shepherd JA students,” said the Rev. Tate. “Our speakers strive to inspire, educate, and challenge students to live a fuller life centered on the God who came to us in Jesus Christ.”
An Upper School elective is offered this year entitled, “A Biblical Worldview in a 21st Century World.” In the class, students explore what it means to see the present world from a “Christian worldview” and how that view affects the way individuals think about current issues, events, and debates. “Right now, we’re going over the main beliefs of a Christian worldview, and we’re about to transition to the world today and issues we talk about around the dinner table (i.e., government, war, family life, etc.),” he said.
The Rev. Tate and his wife, Linda, moved to Jackson in 2004, and later enrolled their first child, who is now in first grade, at JA. Prior to entering the ministry, he worked in Washington, D.C., for Senator Thad Cochran and then Congressman (now Senator) Roger Wicker. After Divinity school, he returned to Mississippi where he was associate pastor at Christ United Methodist Church. He currently pastors Bellwether Church in Jackson. Rev. Tate holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Mississippi, a master’s degree from University of Queensland, and a Master of Divinity from Harvard University.
The JA Chaplain sees the world as an exciting place for students to take advantage of opportunities for service, learning, and travel while keeping life in perspective. “I want students to know a meaningful, rewarding life is found in serving God and others,” he said. “All of us at JA have truly been given so much. I hope we can all live each day willing and ready to give back to the school, the community, and others God leads across our path.”