October 24, 2014
By: Tiffany Kriss
Student, Mid-Atlantic Christian University
Photo Caption: John talking with Anderson County High School softball player Autumn Beasley during the Kentucky state high school softball tournament last spring. She had hit a home run in the team's first round win.
John Herndon graduated from Mid- Atlantic Christian Univeristy in May 1982 as salutatorian of his class. He then moved back home to Kentucky for his first ministry. During this ministry, he also attended Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary (now Cincinnati Christian) one day a week. John graduated from there in May 1989 with an MA in Theological Studies. At this time, he had ministries in Kentucky and Indiana.
John has since left the local ministry and worked as a freelance writer for sixteen years, and then in the fall of 2001, he began working as Sports Editor of The Anderson News in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, which is his hometown. This is a small-town weekly paper and he tries to share the gospel through his writing, as he likes to tell stories of faith. John is able to do this because he works in his hometown and has been in the position a long time, so he has built a reputation through the community and surrounding areas that allows him to write from a Christian perspective.
John’s occupation gives him more opportunities for ministry than he expected. John has addressed social issues, both on the sports and editorial pages, and he has written under a pen name for some Christian publications. Under his pen name, he has been able to reflect on some of the struggles he has had in life while reflecting on how God has used those experiences to make him a better person. John finds himself having multiple opportunities through the paper to share his faith. He has also found that people will sometimes approach him to talk about a problem or a theological issue, simply because they know his stand. John is also starting a short tenure of supplying the pulpit on Sunday nights at Graefenburg Christian Church, Frankfort, Kentucky, presumably through the end of 2014.
John has four children, one stepchild, three grandchildren, and one step-grandchild.
He is married to Stephanie Chandler Herndon, who is a math intervention teacher in the Shelby County Public Schools in Shelbyville, Kentucky. They met and were active at Shelby Christian Church, Shelbyville, where he taught a Sunday School Class, and have been married eight years. However, they moved to Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, in April and have recently placed their membership with Graefenburg Christian, where John served as minister from 1983-1985.
John’s mom, Corinne Herndon, a long-time supporter of MACU, lives in Lawrenceburg and John and Stephanie take care of her. Corrine will be 86 years old in November.
John learned a lot through the education he received at MACU. By the time he began attending MACU, he had already attended the University of Kentucky for a year, which was only thirty miles from his home. When he decided to transfer to MACU, he realized that it would be a long time before he would see his family again. In fact, it turned out to be Christmas when he next saw them. Being so far away from home taught John lot about “simply growing up” and “getting along with people”. MACU has continued to influence John’s life to this day. He finds himself still referring to textbooks he bought while attending MACU, and in his current occupation, there have been several times when he has been tackling a moral issue that needs a Christian response, and he sends a rough draft to Bill Griffin or Dr. Clay Perkins for review before I publish. John says, “It is just good to have someone away from a situation that can offer suggestions. They are two of several Christian leaders I have utilized in that manner.”
John enjoys his current employment, and what he learned at MACU and Cincinnati Christian, have continued to shine through his writing. He notes that:
“This world has certainly changed over the years but the Word of God has never changed, yet, at the same time, many do not know the Good News. I try to share it to the best of my ability through the written word…I understand there is a large segment of our leadership that reads the sports page and little else. If I can share something positive with them or cause them to think about their relationship with Christ, I am happy.”
One story that John shared, specifically in how MACU has helped him in his career, is that…
"In 2013 when the local school board instructed the high school football coach he could not pray with his team after games, I believe MACU was certainly playing a role in our coverage of the event. First, unlike many journalists, my bias was to the Christian world view. I did not think the community was silly for being upset and I applauded the 500 or so people who came out of the stands to pray with the team after the game. I really believe my background prompted me to have a favorable light on the coach and team.
Also, I pulled off some of the training I had to consult resources about the legality of the issue. I e-mailed Dr. Perkins and a friend from MACU, both of whom shared some insights that helped. That is just one example."