WAM House


How did the WAM House get started? Where did the idea come from? The founder, John Scroggins, says that God started working on the individual pieces in his heart and mind about five years prior to the idea. In 2006, some of the pieces started coming together and he started developing the name and structure of the organization. John has been one to integrate his faith into his work life and tried to share Jesus with people through word and deed packaged in love, truth and grace. In 2001, after a layoff from a job and graduating with his MBA, he had some cool opportunities to travel abroad and learn about Business As Missions and Marketplace Ministry from some of the contemporary pioneers on the topics. This training and exposure ignited a passion and a desire to learn more.

In 2005, John moved into a Discipleship House in Columbus, Ohio, USA, owned by Rosedale Mennonite Missions as a way to get nearer a house church plant he was involved in. The community-based living experience with like-minded Believers added the community living concept to the developing model of the organization. The mentorship component of the program was driven by John’s own personal desire to have a mentor in his life as he recognized the importance of learning from someone who “has already been there.” The mission of the WAM House reflects what John believes to be one of his personal life purposes, which stated in his sometimes wordy way, “To train young professionals to transform their workplace and marketplace for the cause of Christ, their employers, employees, communities and nations.”

In December 2006 John went to Intervarsity’s Urbana Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. There God connected him to many people in some really amazing ways who would eventually sow into the vision of the WAM House. John recounts how he bumped into a friend on the streets of St. Louis who then connected him to others at the conference. Another time at the conference, John was waiting to meet someone and felt compelled to speak to a man who clearly was also waiting for someone. Upon hearing John’s vision of the WAM House and hearing he was from Columbus, Ohio, the man suggested he meet a man involved in campus ministry at The Ohio State University name Howard VanCleave. John connected with Howard upon returning from the conference and Howard became a Board of Advisor member, connecting John to a number of Christian professors at the university. At a different time during the conference, John was invited to meet with some other men he had just met who had a similar vision for an organization in San Francisco.

Upon hearing the vision of the WAM House, one of the men, a commercial real estate investor, told John, “I want to buy your first house. You select it and I will finance the purchase with the understanding that you will buy it from me, for what I paid for it, within a couple of years. You can keep the appreciation.” John and then fiancé, Angie, went house hunting, selected a duplex in the campus area, and the man purchased the house. After a couple of years John and Angie purchased the house for what the man paid for it. His financing of the purchase enabled John and Angie to do something they couldn’t have at the time. To this day the buyer has not seen the house. Many divine appointments occurred at the Conference, and John came away feeling affirmed in the direction he felt God leading him. In 2007, John married Angie and they moved into the WAM House. With her encouragement, the name was changed from BAM House (Business As Missions) to WAM House (Workplace As Missions) so that more people could identify with the program and that it would more accurately reflect the vision. Over time, Angie continued to influence the educational component of the program.  In 2008 the WAM House became a registered 501c3 Non-Profit. 

In 2009, a local ministry called International Friendships, Inc. (IFI) (www.ifiusa.org) sent three of their ministry interns through the WAM House training program, thus initiating our inaugural year. They have continued to send three interns per year since then. Over time, the relationship with IFI has deepened and is a dear ministry partner with the WAM House. Since the brief span of time from our first class of “WAMers”, the WAM House has trained young adults at our Columbus WAM House from 10 different countries. Over seventy-five percent have been internationals and over 90% have a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree.

Since our first year, God has given us amazing favor, connecting us with local, national and internationally known authors, leaders and pioneers in the marketplace ministry and business as missions movement. We have been blessed to have personal interactions with folks like Stanley Tam, John Beckett, Kent Humphreys, Ken Eldred and Os Hillman. Our guests at the WAM House have included former Fortune 100 business leaders and State government leaders to everyday folks you would never hear about.

In 2010 we experienced the joy of seeing one of our WAMers seek out a WAM graduate from the previous year while she was studying in Asia. It was encouraging to see a sense of fraternity start to develop and we desire that it continues as WAMers graduate from the program and move into marketplaces around the world. Our vision continues to be global in nature, as our logo illustrates, with the dream of seeing WAM Houses around the globe and the marketplace changing for God’s glory because of it.