Vaughn Taking Advantage of His Opportunities

Sometimes, you just have to take a leap of faith.

Stepping out in faith may be a concept that is unfamiliar to non-believers, but Christian Vaughn, whose Christian background and desire to enter the ministry, knew exactly what it meant. And it was a step he was willing to take.

“It was mid-July and I had nowhere to go to school,” Vaughn said.

A football player recruited out of high school by a small NCAA Division I university, Vaughn saw his scholarship offer rescinded before he had the opportunity to sign his letter of intent. The move left him sitting on the sidelines. Vaughn had not pursued admission to any other university as he was expecting to attend one that was close to his Houston home. July is late in the recruiting game and it’s difficult to complete all the necessary paperwork and get clearance and acceptance to attend a school, but Vaughn, who had a friend coming to Wayland to play football, decided to contact WBU to see if he could play for the Pioneers.

 

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“I might as well just turn in some paperwork and see if they’ll accept me,” he said. “Normally the acceptance process takes about a month at most schools. I was able, through God’s grace, to get it all done within a week.”

Growing up in Houston, Vaughn was unfamiliar with the small, West Texas university, but he was willing to make the drive and give it a chance.

“I had no idea what it looked like. I had no idea what Wayland was. I had no idea where Plainview, Texas, was,” he said. “But I showed up here because this is where God opened doors for me. I needed to be able to go to a school where I could get a degree in Christian ministry.”

 

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While Vaughn’s love of football brought him to Wayland, it was the opportunities he found that kept him here.

“It’s in that perfect position geographically,” he said. “I could have opportunities in Lubbock or Amarillo, or these smaller West Texas towns. I’ve had opportunities to preach and stuff like that. Wayland provides a tremendous amount of opportunities if you look for them.”

Vaughn not only found opportunities to build his faith, but he also found Eliana.

“I met her late in my first semester here. We started dating late in the fall semester and that relationship continued into the spring,” Vaughn said.

The two fell in love and got married while both continued to go to school full time. Vaughn was doing well in the classroom and playing football again, but things would soon change when he found out that he and Eli were expecting their first child. The desire to provide for his family prompted Vaughn to leave the football playing field.

“I felt like I needed to be able to get another job in order to provide,” he said. “I felt like I had progressed as far as I was going to progress in the program. I enjoyed the mental aspect of the game more than going through the grind of practice every single day.”

Vaughn, who was pursuing the accelerated Master of Divinity program with a bachelor’s degree in theology, began looking for additional work. Having played running back for the Pioneers for a couple of years, he was on track to become the running backs coach for the team. But, as is often the case, God had other plans.

First Baptist Church Pastor Dr. Jacob West and Kris Knippa, the Area I representative for Texas Baptists, contacted Vaughn to see if he was interested in applying for a high school youth pastor position at FBC-Plainview. Vaughn applied and was soon approved by a vote of the church membership. As Vaughn’s professional ministry blossomed, he also found himself serving as the chaplain for the Pioneer football team, a position he kind of grew into.

“Part of me setting my own position within the football team was being someone who was different than everyone else in the sense that I wasn’t going to go do the negative things,” he said. “I was going to focus on what I needed to do and hoped that others would do the same. It got to the point where now I serve as the team chaplain, even though I’m not on the team anymore.”

Soon after starting his new job with the church, Vaughn and his wife celebrated the birth of their daughter. While school, work, family and football have kept him busy, Vaughn knows that keeping his sight set on God, and following His leadership, is something he will continue to do as he grows in faith and prepares for his future. And he knows that the relationships he has made at Wayland will be a part of his success moving forward.

 

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