Finding Faith: Joshua Cotton

Written by Isabelle Hendrich, staff writer 

DAYTON, Tenn. — Joshua Cotton is a senior biology major at Bryan College. After he graduates, Cotton hopes to find some occupation in the medical field. 

Cotton grew up in a Christian home and committed his life to Christ when he was seven years old. From when he was seven until he was twelve, Cotton read the whole Bible with his dad. 

While he has a more traditional testimony, Cotton cites he is very glad he got saved at the age of seven. 

“I think it is good to remember testimonies of growing up in a church your whole life doesn’t mean your testimony is worth anything less than someone who had a more drastic change,” Cotton said. 

Over the past summer, Cotton participated in the Acts project, where he interned at a Christian clinic and Evison Atlantic (EA), in Clarkston, GA. On Mon. Wed. and Fri. Cotton would help with Covid vaccinations at the clinic, Thursday shadowing doctors, and on Tuesday he would serve at Evison Atlantic. 

During the Acts project, Cotton realized how helpful it was that Bryan connected him with an organization where he could serve at a place that was within his major. Out of his ten team members, Cotton remembers only three others who had a similar testimony of growing up in a Christian home. 

“I remember feeling like the odd one out, maybe like I should have a more drastic testimony, but then I realized afterwards . . . I should be very happy that I came to Christ at the age I did,” Cotton said. 

One of the main aspects of Bryan College that made Cotton consider Bryan as a potential school is its Christian values. Specifically, Cotton mentioned how chapel has helped in his own spiritual growth. “Sometimes it brings me to spend more intentional time with God in ways I might have not in my own personal quiet time,” Cotton said. 

Having a friend who dealt with suicidal thoughts and actions, Cotton found it helpful to discuss this situation with his mentors and the Bryan College counseling department. 

An encouragement from his dad that stood in particular to Cotton is that even if a Christian does not feel like having a quiet time, any Scripture memorized or internalized through thinking about it is beneficial. Cotton is especially thankful that God has given him a desire to read the Bible, even with his busy life. 

Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (ESV). 

Isabelle Hendrich is a communication major and history minor at Bryan College. Besides running, Hendrich likes to read and do crafts. She is a triplet whose siblings, Benjamin and Savannah, are also attending Bryan College.