Barton College Chaplain Rev. Jamie Eubanks has been busy this semester moving into his new office, while still planning important events like last week’s Day of Service.
Renovations to the interior of the chapel were completed this summer. The renovations included new bathrooms, an office for the chaplain, an office for professor Rod Werline, the Leman and Marie Barnhill Endowed Chair in Religious Studies, and a new conference room.
Eubanks has everything from his old office moved into the chapel, but has not finished unpacking every box yet. He was excited about his new space, which has its own stained-glass window that overlooks his desk.
“I love my new office,” Eubanks said. “I feel like it’s a more central location and helps make the chapel a place for students to hang out or have meetings and helps bring life back to the chapel.”
The Barton Day of Service, an event which initially arose out of a desire to give students the opportunity to immerse themselves in service of the community, completed its 10th year last week.
Day of service planning started in early July, with the search for organizations and sites in town to participate. Each year students serve about 35 to 40 different non-profits and sites in Wilson working on various projects to aid the community.
“I always love the Ghandi quote that states, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’,” Eubanks said. “It is important to reach out beyond just ourselves and to give back to the community and support the greater good.”
After having served as a new church planter and pastor of Wake Forest Christian Church for eight years, Eubanks came to work at Barton in 2013. He said when he began in ministry, he served as a youth minister and saw Barton as an opportunity to get back into young adult ministry.
He has been married to his wife, Leah, for 15 years. They have two daughters Kayla, 6, and Emma who is 10 months old.
Eubanks, originally from Dublin, Georgia, said, “I moved to North Carolina for college and fell in love with it, I have been here ever since.”
After attending Greensboro College for his undergraduate degree, he earned his masters from Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky. He has been preaching for 15 years and is the minister at First Christian Church in Fayetteville.
“I always had a desire to help people and always loved working in the church,” Eubanks said. “I knew I wanted to go into ministry after working at Christmount for four summers as a youth counselor—it made me realize what I was called to be and do.”
Christmount is a retreat, camp and conference center in Black Mountain that was founded by the Disciples of Christ denomination. Eubanks first attended camp here when he was 19.
Jessica Braxton, freshman religion and social work double major, has known Eubanks for about seven years. She met him at Camp Caroline, another Disciples of Christ camp in Arapahoe.
“My first impression was that he was a little weird, but he was funny and someone I wanted to associate with,” she said. “Now I love Jamie unconditionally. I see that he is a kind-hearted man who genuinely cares about everyone he meets.”
Braxton believes his strengths as a chaplain are that he cares about every student and works to be around the students as much as he can to get to know each of them.
“He’s a good chaplain because he works hard to check on the wellbeing of students and their feelings,” she said.
Eubanks says his favorite thing about his job as chaplain is working with the students and different religious life groups on campus. He said Lighting of the Luminaries has always been his favorite tradition on campus “because of the season and just how beautiful the campus looks all lit up.”
However, Day of Service has always been the most rewarding tradition to him. After all the planning that goes into setting everything up, it is gratifying to watch it all come together to have the Barton community give back to the city of Wilson.
Eubanks said he would love for there to be more service-oriented clubs on campus that join to make a difference and impact not only on Barton, but in Wilson as well.
By Shannon Casto