Staff Spotlight: Rion Bell

Staff Spotlight: Rion Bell

If you’ve ever met Rion Bell, you know that he loves discussing and defending the truth of God’s Word as well as seeing God work in the hearts of young people. A four-year veteran of GRACE 6th grade, Rion enjoys instructing students in Bible and History and showing them how connected these subjects are. Rion earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest which is also where he met his wife, Kristen. When he’s not serving the students at GRACE, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and daughter, Evangeline as they all expect the arrival of Baby Bell #2 in January.

Before being married, Rion and Kristen were camp counselors for several years at Camp Bob Cooper in South Carolina. If that name sounds familiar, it is where the 2016 and 2017 Ignite retreats took place. To all his high school counterparts, Rion wants you to know that it’s just as hot in July as it is in mid-August. The Bells enjoyed the same blob, climbing wall, and Rast Hall experience as the GRACE high schoolers experienced.  

When asked to share a memory from his own school years, Rion skipped over the middle and high school years and pulled a memory from college. According to Rion, when he was in college, his hairstyle was a bit more flowy or hippy or just more. He had long flowing hair and rocked the mutton chop sideburns.  A little-known fact is that in many arenas of my college days, he was just known as “Burns.”  Rion led a high school ministry in a local public high school as Burns.  And he was a high school wrestling coach for 5 years as Coach Burns.  Eventually, and sadly, Rion got a “grown up” haircut and shave, but he still leaves a hint of sideburns just for the reminiscing.  

If the long-haired hippy Rion doesn’t interest you, perhaps the fact that he and his wife were extras in Mockingjay 2 (the last of The Hunger Games movies) will engage you. Rion shared that he and Kristen connected with a casting agency on Facebook and sent in applications and pictures. After being cast, the Bells took vacation days from their jobs and drove down to Atlanta for several days of filming.  They did get paid for their parts, but after the hotel and travel expenses, Rion shares that they actually lost money, however he was quick to add that it was completely worth it. In case you are wondering, the Bells were dressed up as factory workers or lumberjacks as they stormed the Capitol.  It was an awesome experience to spend several days around all of the celebrities of the movies.  There were hundreds of extras on set with them, but we were put in some amazing positions for screen time and proximity to Katniss.  

Rion’s favorite Bible verse is Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God and the skies above proclaim his handiwork.” as he loves the idea that all around us the world proclaims just how awesome God is. All we need to do is see His handiwork in order to see Him as glorious.