Jonah Losh, Staff Writer
Herman Melville writes, “To produce a mighty book, you must produce a mighty theme.” While this is no book, Jason Ross certainly qualifies as a mighty theme. South Carolina born-and-bred, Ross represents the kind of well-rounded Christian which we must model after: a strong leader who's ready to serve. And that kind of Christian is worthy of a mighty book.
Raised in Lexington, North Greenville graduate Jason Ross is an instructor at North Greenville. He says that when he first stepped onto campus with his pastor from Lexington Baptist Church, he knew there was something special.
“What sold me was the people," Ross stated. "It’s the love of Christ that sets this school apart." Little did he know that he would become that light for others.
He earned his degree from NGU in business administration at the encouragement of his father.
“Son,” Ross fondly recalled, “you will never go wrong with business.”
Through his training in business and later time as associate vice president of Carolina First Bank, Ross learned valuable skills in marketing and dealing with people. When selling any product, he said, "listen to what the people love. Offer them something that will make them happy."
Later he applied these lessons to fundraising for North Greenville, becoming the Director of Corporate Development, raising money for NGU growth and student scholarships. “If you can sell a product that you love, it is easy.” Who knows how many students are here at NGU because of Ross’ passion for the school.
Ross is also an adjunct-instructor of Business Administration; he says that he teaches to give back to students.
“This school helped me...to get to where I’m at now.”
He offers three points of advice for students: First, find a mentor (a professor or business executive) and “latch on to them.” They’ve been in the trenches, and we have much to gain from their experiences.
Second, get a job before you join the workforce after graduation, like work-study or filing, anything to display talents and people skills.
Third, always put God first, and He can bless all that you do. He asks that we pray for the upcoming launch of the School of Business facilities; this will be the first time business/sports management students will have a unique place to meet.
He looks forward to building something for God’s glory, raising students to be lights in the marketplace. “I love my job.” He is excited for the upcoming third-annual “Faith at Work Business Symposium” on Feb. 9, begun by Jason Ross and William Renfrow to inspire students and employees to integrate their faith in the marketplace.
In addition to working on his doctorate in business administration online at NGU, Ross is also an active member of the South Carolina State Guard since 2010 and looks this summer to be promoted to major.
He shared that the SC Guard is the oldest military branch in the United States. Their mission is homefront protection and emergency management. He was a battle captain during the 1000-Year-Flood and the leader of the 44th medical detachment in the Puerto Rican Hurricane Maria crisis, in which he had to oversee care of hurricane casualties from Puerto Rican hospitals.
When asked how he was able to manage his dynamic lifestyle, he explained that he serves in the Guard one week out of the month, studying and teaching in the other weeks: “It’s about serving humanity,” he said in a previous NGU article.
Ross keeps a minuteman statue in his office, to remind him that, just like the revolutionaries, he is ready to serve at a minute’s notice.
In his free time, Ross is an avid outdoorsman; his face lights up when discussing the wildlife of our area. He has hiked over 300 of the 900 miles trails in the Smoky Mountains, as well as the entire Smokies portion of the Appalachian Trail. He hopes to complete all 900 miles of trails in the Smokies, which he refers to as “my playground.”
After he received his undergraduate diploma, he became certified in horticulture, and took up a “paid hobby” as Associate Ranger for the SC Parks Service. He worked as a naturalist and trail runner (helping guide lost hikers).
Ross signifies the Christian leader we are all called to be: well-rounded, passionate, but most of all caring.
“If you’re going to be a leader, you also need to be a follower. Be in the trenches with your men. Earn their trust. Get acquainted with those working for and with you. Give your guys the mission and take your hands off of them. They are smart, and they’ll surprise you every time," said Ross. He knows how to lead and how to serve, like Jesus: a mighty theme indeed.