Many BJU students have sat under the ministry of Dr. John Monroe as they’ve attended the church he pastors, Faith Baptist Church.
In 2009, John Monroe became the head pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Taylors, South Carolina. Monroe graduated from Bob Jones University in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in pastoral studies and in 1990 with a master’s of pastoral studies.
Although he graduated with a degree in pastoral studies, Monroe didn’t begin in that major when he came to BJU in 1984. Monroe began as an accounting major.
However, God allowed him to experience some physical difficulties that made him decide to switch his major to pastoral studies. Monroe also holds a doctorate of religious education.Monroe said the impact BJU had on him as a student came mostly from the University’s environment.
“I really received the discipline that I needed at that time in my life,” he said.
He recalled the “physical crisis” the Lord allowed him to experience his freshman year.It was this time in his life, he said, when he really changed his goals to reflect what God wanted for him, and he credited the culture of BJU for allowing him the discipline to make that change.
In his role as head pastor, Monroe has the opportunity to make acute observations about the struggles of the 21st century Christian. Monroe believes the biggest obstacle for the Christian today is the “ease” with which temptations can be acted upon.
“The temptations that the world offers are far more accessible in this day and age,” he said.
Monroe explained how he sees this illustrated in the lives of some of the people he counsels. “Now you have accessibility [to sin] with the promise of anonymity, and that’s a very dangerous combination,” he said.
Monroe also suggests that because we live in the age of technology, the Bible is not as widely read as it should be. “We’re losing some of our ‘Bible literacy’ in this culture,” he said. “There are so many distractions that it’s hard to get people to focus on what’s important.”
Monroe’s advice to those who are entering or graduating from college and are wondering how to know God’s will for their lives is simple: Just obey God today.
“I think we get caught up in big picture, and we can get overwhelmed,” he said. “We have to bring it back down to the simplicity of obeying Him today . . . I often tell my kids, if I can just manage to get done today what God wants me to do today, then I really believe I’ll be where He wants me to be tomorrow.”
With such a drastic major change as accounting to pastoral studies was, Monroe wishes to communicate the role each major plays in ministry. “Ministry is a mentality,” he said. “A lot of times, we view ministry as what we do or don’t do instead of who we are. We’re called by God to be ministers of the Gospel, but if you don’t have that mentality, you won’t get it done.”
Monroe encouraged college students to focus on how God can use their specific talents to further the Gospel. Not everyone has to be a ministry major, he said, but all Christians must be ministry minded.
Monroe and his wife Susan met in college. They have eight children and one grandchild on the way.