Bristol was the perfect town for Jacob Reynolds to grow up. It is a music town, birthplace of country music, steeped in the rich history of musical innovation, introducing the world to the Carter Family back in the 20s, up to modern times hosting the Rhythm and Roots festival that has featured such artists as the Old Crow Medicine Show, Emmylou Harris, Wynonna Judd, Mumford & Sons, and many others. Jacob grew up in a musical home. His father was a drummer and shared his love of music and the drums with Jacob who at age nine first started playing.
He picked up playing instruments quickly and it was readily apparent that he had natural musical talent. Not only did Jacob learn the drums but also the bass and guitar. For high school, he attended the Tennessee Avenue Christian Academy. When it was time for Jacob to apply to college, his mother, a King alumna, encouraged him to consider King. “We went to an open house that was held at King. As soon as I walked onto the campus, I knew that it was it,” Jacob said. “Everyone was so friendly. It was a good Christian atmosphere.”
Jacob decided that King was going to be the place where he would spend the next four years of his life developing and growing as a person and student. But right around the time he started signing his paperwork, his father was laid off from his job. Jacob had to put his decision to attend King on hold for financial reasons. His mother called the admissions department to explain the situation and tell them that Jacob would have to hold off on enrolling.
One of the enrollment counselors told them that there was a scholarship available, the Liston scholarship, that was full coverage. The only stipulation was that you had to be in the top 10% of your class. Jacob was the salutatorian, he qualified, or so he thought. He learned that due to the small class size, he didn’t qualify, his academic achievement didn’t hold the same weight as a larger class. “I decided to fill out everything anyway and take it to the admissions department in person,” Jacob said.
He walked in and asked to see his contact in the admissions department. The man met with Jacob, took his application and paperwork, and said, “Ok, I am going to get to work.” The counselor decided to meet with Dr. Liston and see if they could revise the criteria to allow kids like Jacob, excellent students from smaller schools, to apply for the scholarship. Another of the counselors, Mandie Roberts, told him that if it works and Jacob is accepted then she would show up at his campus with balloons and he would then know that he got in and received the much-needed scholarship.
It was a tense time; the waiting was excruciating but Jacob was optimistic. “One day I am sitting in the cafeteria, and I turn around and Mandie is standing there with balloons and the scholarship. I wouldn’t be here without it. It was a miracle from God,” Jacob said. He entered King, joined the jazz band, but is majoring in business. He would willingly pursue a career in music or the music business. “I want to go wherever God takes me,” Jacob said. Everything was starting to fall into place. Jacob is an optimist, extremely friendly, and outgoing. “The first day I started here on campus my dad started his new job.” Everything worked out.
Jacob also works in a local music store testing out new gear, providing high-quality customer service, pulling merchandise for online orders and other odds and ends and says that it is a fun job. It means so much to him to be a part of the King community. He studies hard, participates in the band, and volunteers for activities that help promote the school. His enthusiasm is contagious and combined with his work ethic he can go anywhere that God’s map will lead him.