January 25, 2022 (Jackson, Miss.) - Belhaven University President Dr. Roger Parrott awarded an honorary Doctorate of Christian Ministries to Rev. Jasper Bacon at the University's December 11 commencement. Rev. Bacon, the founder and executive director of In His Steps Ministries, was the acclaimed speaker for both ceremonies at Thalia Mara Hall.
“I don't know of a leader anywhere who better exemplifies Belhaven's motto 'To Serve Not To Be Served' more than Rev. Jasper Bacon,” said Belhaven University President Dr. Roger Parrott. “He is a gifted speaker, creative problem solver, and deep thinker, who has been a model of servant leadership, an advocate for the overlooked, and a champion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Rev. Bacon founded In His Steps Ministries in April 1994 with its primary mission of providing family services, compassionate services, youth empowerment, sports ministry services, and weekly bible studies for incarcerated youth. Rev. Bacon's desire is to foster Christian community development, promote racial reconciliation within the body of Christ, promote a better quality of life for youth and their families, and help create networks between suburban and urban communities.
“I never imagined that I would be receiving an honorary doctorate from Belhaven University,” said Bacon. “I'm humbled by this experience and grateful for the chance to share the wonderful news of what God is doing in Canton, Mississippi through In His Steps Ministries.”
With over 25 years of history with Belhaven University, Rev. Bacon served as an adjunct professor, teaching New Testament and Bible courses, and he has served as chapel speaker. In His Steps Ministries has also partnered with Belhaven over the course of the last few years by providing internship and volunteer opportunities for Belhaven students.
Rev. Bacon has over 36 years of experience in biblical teaching and providing workshops on racial reconciliation, marriage, family, parenting skills, evangelism, and discipleship. Recently, he and a team developed the Back to the Bible on Racial Issues Initiative. The main goal is to train believers biblically and help individuals to represent Jesus well across racial lines.
Prior to In His Steps Ministries, Rev. Bacon was a pastor at a local church in Canton for over eight years. He is a native of Canton, Miss. and graduate of Canton High School in 1978 with distinguished honors. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College and his Master of Divinity from Wesley Biblical Seminary. In addition, he completed studies from Reform Theological Seminary.
He was chosen to receive the Dolphus Weary Lifetime Achievement Award. He previously served on the Wheaton College Board of Visitors and is the President of the R.E.A.L. Christian Foundation. In addition, he served with such organizations as the Canton Model One-Stop Planning Committee, Leadership Madison County of Canton, and Leadership Continuum of Jackson.
Rev. Bacon is married to Carolyn and has two children and three grandchildren. For over 35 years, Rev. Bacon and Carolyn have served the Canton community through intervention, prevention, and other Christian community-based services.