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Clay Cox: The Difference Between a Burden and a Calling

Clay Cox
Clay Cox ’19

Clay Cox’s (Youth Ministries ’19) passion for young people stemmed from his own life experiences as a pre-teen and teenager. His parents’ divorce left him feeling very alone and confused. But by the time he started college, God revealed to him a brighter future. “I felt God calling me to full-time ministry. I just didn’t know where or how to begin,” he said. “God showed Himself mightily through it all, revealing what truly matters in life and what to do about it.”

After high school, Clay decided to study youth ministries at Pensacola Christian College. And what he learned became invaluable to his future. “It was clear God wanted me to attend just from the things I prayed about leading up to the decision,” he said. “I could see the level of biblical training with a Christian atmosphere all while having a great balance of an incredible college experience.”

Getting involved in college life, Clay began to see where God could use him in ministry, especially through Christian service opportunities available to him. “As an undergrad, I was privileged to go on summer internships where I discovered Pastor [Greg] Mutsch and his ministry in Hendersonville,” Clay said. “It became abundantly clear God was calling me [to Bible Baptist Church]; it was during my internship there that I realized the difference between a burden and a calling.” 

Clay’s time at PCC amplified his heart for ministry. “Let there be no mistake about PCC’s ministerial program. It will equip you phenomenally,” he said. “It taught me how to preach and teach, and I will never forget the training my college professors poured into me. I never anticipated the immense amount of Christian growth [I gained] from my teachers.”

God used several individuals to motivate Clay Cox during his college years. He remains in awe of his master teachers who would change their plans to have lunch with him to share understanding and compassion. “There were so many people that encouraged me at PCC,” Clay said. “I would say the encouragement from Dr. Rob Small and Dr. Dan Troutman has lasted until now and will continue.”

Clay and Priscilla Cox

“Something the ads and brochures of PCC can never tell you is just how amazing it is to find people that love you, pray for you, and stick with you through everything. I truly am so grateful for the lasting relationships I have made during my time at PCC,” said Clay. “However, I must say the very best blessing I got while at PCC would most definitely be my best friend and wife, Priscilla.”

After graduating in December 2019, Clay and Priscilla (Elementary Education ’18) got married and began serving with Dr. Greg Mutsch at Bible Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN. Clay began serving as TentMaker, head of the children’s ministry. Some of his responsibilities include teaching or subbing for classes at Hendersonville Christian Academy, coaching basketball or weight training, attending staff-building meetings, preaching chapel or church services, and more.

Woman teaching Bible stories.

In March of 2020, Bible Baptist Church sent Clay and Priscilla to Uganda, Africa, where they stayed until late July 2021. Clay had the opportunity to teach some of the same Bible classes he took at PCC to the Bible students in Africa. He loved how the Ugandans could spend hours talking about the Bible and never get tired of hearing and learning more. “Going to Uganda, Africa, for a year and a half was the most incredible experience of our lives; we were so blessed to be involved with that ministry,” Clay said. “The people’s backgrounds made my background look so much ‘nicer’ in comparison. This caused me to adjust my focus to God’s Word and realize there is no background or testimony that God’s Word cannot eloquently handle.”

As a couple, Clay and Priscilla decided to focus their time on what matters most. “It’s so easy to get caught up in a comfortable lifestyle in America and to quickly take our luxuries for granted,” he said. “Priscilla and I often reflect on our time in Uganda to refocus our purpose in life and remember what truly matters and that God is the one who gives the increase.”

After their time in Africa, Clay and Priscilla Cox plugged back into the church and school in Tennessee. “Ministry is much harder than I ever thought because, like every line of work, you get tired, but I really can’t complain—God has blessed us so much with an incredible ministry at both BBC and HCA.”

“My favorite part of working in ministry is seeing the preaching, teaching, and counseling that the Lord lets me be involved with bringing forth fruit,” said Clay. “Nothing is better than seeing souls saved and children and teens alike come to know the saving power and life-changing power of Jesus Christ, for them to see that they are not alone in this dark and cruel world.”

Read more about how God is directing and working through PCC faculty and alumni.