The encouragement and investment of people he respects got Jesse Whitford to Boise Bible College and continue to play a significant role in his life.
Jesse came to BBC at the encouragement of his parents Mike and Cindy, who have spent a lifetime in ministry. Jesse shares, “My dad has always been a huge influence on my life and someone I admire greatly. His love for Jesus and ministry for sure had an influence on me deciding to check out BBC for a year.” Jesse and his sister Desirae, who graduated a year early from high school, started at BBC together in 2001.
Though his experience was positive, there was a time he was considering dropping out and changing course. Professors Bill Krause and Dale Cornett came alongside and encouraged him and helped him decide to stay, also giving him opportunities to intern with them. This level of care for students from all the professors would continue to mean a lot to Jesse during his years at BBC.
Foundations of Spiritual Growth, a class taught by John Whittaker, was the most impactful class Jesse had. He looked forward to it every week. He reflects,
This class gave me the why behind spiritual disciplines, and for the first time in my life reading the Bible and praying became something I wanted to do, instead of something I ought to do. It became a joy instead of a burden.
Coming from an avid outdoors family, Jesse has a borderline obsession with fly fishing and hunting. He spent his summers guiding fly fishermen to pay for college and still greatly enjoys introducing others to the sport. Jesse loves to do ministry and build relationships in the outdoors, sharing the beauty of God’s creation with others. He also loves to coach sports and watch his two kids Jayden, 13, and Jace, 11, play basketball.
Life After Boise Bible College
Jesse met his wife Jen Hanson at BBC, and later his close friend Justin Jordan (BS’ 08) married her sister Natalie. Justin shares Jesse’s love for the outdoors, so they make it a point to hunt and fish together each year, and the families often share holidays. Jesse also goes hiking and trail running when he can with Martin Flaherty (BA ’02), a lifelong friend from college.
Jesse and Jen both graduated in 2005, he with a BA in Preaching, she with an AS in Bible. He accepted the position of youth minister at Baker City Christian Church in Baker City, OR, and they moved there. They both enjoyed their time building relationships with youth and are thankful for the opportunity they had to do life with an awesome group of students. Jesse was also able to spend these five years under the mentorship of Lead Pastor Roger Scovil. When Roger left in 2010 to be closer to family, he encouraged Jesse to transition to the lead pastor role and was a great help in making that transition go smoothly. Ten years later, Jesse still loves it, He also enjoys serving on the board of Boise Bible College.
Looking back over the last 15 years, Jesse is humbled and grateful for God’s faithfulness and the blessing the church has been to him and his family. He loves the staff team he gets to be a part of and is excited to see what the future holds for the Baker Valley as Jesus continues to transform lives.
Jesse is incredibly grateful to BBC for the Biblical Worldview and quality education he received in his time there. But what stuck with him was how intentional every professor was with each student. Professors shared their lives and homes, practiced a true open-door policy, and it was evident to Jesse they cared about him. There is something special about the BBC community. Genuine service, humility, and discipleship were modeled as they invested in him. This is what impacted Jesse the most.