“…one of the finest young ministers of the Gospel in Southern Baptist life… John Harris has the heart of a pastor and the mind of a scholar. He is a humble student of God’s word and has wisdom beyond his years.”
–Don Cass, Director of Evangelism, Texas
“… [Because of] all of his training and experience… I commend him to you without reservation… [you] will catch the spirit of this great young man and his very supportive wife.”
–Jimmy Draper, Former President, SBC
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~Howdy!? I’m John Harris and I was born in Dallas on March 6, 1978, and my family currently hangs our hats in Corpus Christi, TX.
As I grew up in North Texas I was a “Preacher’s Kid,” but I didn’t have much of a desire to go into the “family business.” I think I resisted because Dad always told me that vocational ministry is a calling, not just a career choice. You know what? He’s right. However, God was leading me to make that commitment. In 1996 I answered the call and was licensed to gospel ministry by FBC Carrollton, later I was ordained by First Baptist Church Euless in 2004.
I went to college and earned my Bachelors Degree in Biblical Studies at Dallas Baptist University (1999), and followed-up with seminary through Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where I earned an MDivBL (2004) and a ThM in New Testament (2008). Currently I’m finishing my studies as a PhD candidate at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Biblical Studies: New Testament emphasis).
It was during my time at DBU I met Charlotte Elizabeth “Beth” Pitman, and we were married, once Beth graduated, on December 30, 2000. Beth earned her degree in both Psychology & Religious Education at DBU (she’s really smart and a great blessing to me and my ministry). We have two daughters and one son: Reagan Noel, born Dec. 15, 2008; Kennedy Ann, born June 23, 2011; and Lincoln Roy born Nov. 3, 2014. [I guess we like presidents who were shot 😉 ].
After having pastored at churches for about a decade in east and north Texas to Youth, College Students, Single Adults, and even as Associate Administrator when I began at FBC Euless, we moved to Illinois and I served as Pastor to Adults at First Baptist Church Maryville. This was a unique opportunity in that during the first 2+ years at FBC Maryville, the church did not have a Sr. Pastor.
Beth, Reagan, and myself were present, in view of a call, on March 8, 2009 when Pastor Fred Winters was shot and killed in the middle of preaching the gospel during the 8:15AM service (you can read my article in Church Executive Aug 1, 2010 “In View of A Call: Leadership and Martyrdom in the Midwest”). It had been a long process of getting to know Pastor Fred and the church, so that next Sunday the church voted unanimously (-1) to bring me on staff, and we answered the call. It was a call to help the church survive in the midst of some difficult days without a Sr. Pastor, but God did so much more. The Adult Ministry continued to grow during my entire time at FBCM, and we saw record numbers going through the baptismal waters!!
Early in 2012 a group of about 40 people came together to form Crossroads Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, TX. On Oct 7th I was called as their first Sr. Pastor, my first Sunday was Dec. 9, 2012. During my time at Crossroads we were so blessed to see lives changed, many people come to faith and be baptized, and membership grew to more than 165 people.
God began to stir in my heart and impress upon me that he had a new assignment for us in early 2015 when I was contacted by a search team on behalf of Pleasant Heights Baptist Church in Columbia, TN. Through a series of unmistakable confirmations, including a unanimous call to the church, our family stepped out in faith and made the move to Middle-Tennessee. I became the Sr. Pastor of Pleasant Heights on December 1, 2015.
I have a passion for God, His Word, His People, and His World. It is my great joy to see lives transformed and grow through the power of the good news shared and lived-out every day. I want to reach the lost with the gospel and I love leading the body of Christ to grow together: building-up the church making more and better disciples, glorifying God, in all the Earth!
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