Tue, Apr 14, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
About Pastor Jay:
Jay Harris has been the lead pastor of The Ville Church for the past four years. The Ville is located in the urban core of Jacksonville, FL. The Ville church prioritizes preaching the gospel and loving the church family and community with a vision for community development in the Health Zone 1 neighborhood where the church resides.
From 2011 – 2014, Jay owned a clothing boutique in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, named after his streetwear brand, Strght & Nrrw. The boutique was more than just a clothing store, it was monumental in changing the lives of individuals through Bible studies, outreach, counseling, mentoring, internships, volunteer opportunities, and partnering with other non-profit organizations.
Jay was recognized as a “Hero Next Door” on Jacksonville’s First Coast News due to his work in the community. He has also been featured on the front page of the Florida Times Union for bringing Young Life to downtown Jacksonville. He previously served on the advisory board for the Duval Detention Center and as a weekly volunteer at Lee High School with his attention on at-risk youth.
His work with teacher Amy Donofrio at Lee High birthed a youth-led initiative called the “Evac Movement.” Evac is “cave” backwards. The group’s intent is to get out of and lead their peers out of the cave of negativity into their full potential. The Evac Movement’s efforts to create healthy conversation and partnerships between youth and law enforcement has led to meetings with the White House, the Dept. of Justice, Federal Judges, Senators, the State Attorney’s Office, as well as high profile law enforcement. Their journey has taken Evac from The White House to Harvard, despite frequent stops to mourn and be present in the tragedies that continue to plague the youth they serve.
Jay has impacted the community in many ways, however if you ask why he does it, he will tell you that he is only giving out what God has given to him. He says “I don’t deserve to be here, but as long as I am, it is proper to lavish others with the same grace and mercy that I have been shown”.