Words by Anna Lee Vaughn | Images by Justin Hunter
In 2016, Jacob Guthrie left Jasper to pursue a college education at the University of Mobile. Now he has returned home.
Recently, he joined the team at McGehee Engineering in Jasper, working as draftsman. In his new role, Jacob will work with mining permits and the inspection of recently mined land.
Though leaving Jasper was not originally part of Jacob’s plan, Jacob believes that God had a way of leading him into a ‘very formative time’ during his college years.
“I was taking classes at Bevill State (Community College), but I ended up visiting the University of Mobile during that time,” says Jacob. “I just really enjoyed my time there.”
Many milestones came and went during the four years Jacob was in Mobile working towards his degree in Worship Leadership. He learned to live independently, he met his wife Hannah, he traveled with the worship ensemble Exit 13, and he led worship at People of Mars Hill Church.
Amid the Covid pandemic and nationwide shutdowns, Jacob was unable to attend his college graduation ceremony nor continue leading worship. Nevertheless, he and Hannah opted to stay in her native Mobile, which led Jacob to cycle through smaller jobs. He worked in a recycling yard before becoming a truck driver for Ace Hardware, often pulling 14- to 16-hour days and traveling out of state.
“It was an interesting time,” Jacob laughs. “We were going through the transition of getting a home, being newly married, and having our first child, Evelyn. With those long workdays, it really messed up our family dynamic.”
During this challenging time, Jacob spoke with some childhood friends, some of whom work at McGehee Engineering. With Jacob’s previous work experience in CAD (computer-aided design), they encouraged him to apply for a job with the company.
Jacob, Hannah, and Evelyn moved to Jasper in February 2023. They quickly immersed themselves in the community at Farmstead Baptist Church, Jacob’s home church where he is now involved with leading worship. Jacob also went to work at McGehee.
While transitioning into a new career working at an engineering firm has come with challenges, Jacob says he is excited to learn more about the ages-old field. “With not having any experience in this before now, I’m learning it all from ground zero, but it’s very exciting, and I’m just happy to be here,” says Jacob. “Big picture, I’m looking forward to just understanding the industry because it’s an old industry with many intricacies.”
Excited to be back in Jasper and surrounded by his family, Jacob says that he is most thankful for the support of his family, Hannah’s family, and the divine intervention that brought him back home. WL