John Jewell, who has served for many years in ministries in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Brazil and Africa, will begin serving as York College’s new vice president of student life starting June 13, according to an announcement from Dr. Sam Smith, president of York College. 

Jewell has most recently served as the pulpit minister of the Westworth Church of Christ in Westworth Village, Texas.  He and his wife, Samantha, are the parents of three children, Jonah, 20, Andy, 17, and Ben, 13. 

“I’m excited about what God has in store for the York College students and how He might use my family’s ministry and mission experiences to enhance this vital, formative part of their lives,” Jewell said. “College students are fun and are so full of promise and hope, which is why I feel privileged to have this chance to pour into them.”

The Jewells launched and continue to direct WellSpring Ministries in Malawi, Africa, an institution that provides education, food, clothing, and medical care for impoverished children. 

Jewell’s missionary experience began in 2003 when he served as pulpit minister for Igreja de Cristo do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He later worked with the Comunidade de Cristo in Natal, Brazil. He and Samantha are both bilingual and have consistently demonstrated a heart for healing people in ministry wherever they have served. They both look forward to this new adventure and are quickly impressed with the opportunities in York.

“My first impression of Nebraska was that I had never seen so many cornfields in my life,”  Jewell said. “Once the shock of farm overload wore off, I noticed how friendly everyone was. The campus was impressive for its size. I love the quaint setting which seems perfect for raising a family and an ideal backdrop for college life.

“It is encouraging to observe the buzz of bright-eyed hopeful youth from all over the world coming and going. I was especially impressed with the international representation of the student body. One highlight was getting the chance to speak some Portuguese with a few of the Brazilian students and a staff member.”

According to President Smith, “John brings a deep knowledge of building community, leading teams, and pointing people to the Lord. His gifts will help him to seamlessly step into this role to provide our students with an incredible experience outside of the classroom, and a safe experience which supports their academic endeavors while attending York University.

“John will focus on developing a Student Life team that is attentive to the needs of college students in 2022 and beyond. He and his incredible family have literally moved all over the world to serve the Lord through various mission fields including Brazil and Malawi. With the Jewells’ continued mission efforts in Malawi, we hope to build a bridge of academic opportunities through York University for those students in the mission field. Their work will also create unique mission-trip opportunities for our students in the future.”

Jewell completed his bachelor’s degree in theology at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. He has since completed additional studies in Nashville as well as the Continent of Great Cities ministry in Abilene, Texas.