Born in Washington, DC in October 1963 to the late Deacon Samuel A. Harris and Ardesial E. Harris, James F. Harris grew up with his brother, Thomas, attending Brookland Union Baptist Church, Washington, DC and was baptized by the late Pastor Rev. Joseph A. Miles, Sr. in 1976. After marrying the former Bridgette R. Short of Lexington Park, MD in August 1988, he answered God’s call to the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was licensed to preach by First Missionary Baptist Church, Lexington Park in September 1989 under the leadership of the pastor, Rev. Roderick W. McClanahan. He later earned his Master of Divinity Degree from the Samuel D. Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University, Richmond, VA in 1998. He was ordained in the Gospel ministry in September 2002 at First Missionary Baptist, Lexington Park, MD.
Rev. Harris served as an associate minister at First Missionary Baptist Church, Lexington Park, MD for 26 years. Over the years, he served as chairs of the Marriage Ministry, Christian Education Ministry, and Ministerial Staff; he also served as Sunday School Superintendent and usher (before his call to ministry). One of his favorite Bible verses is Psalms 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (KJV)
Rev. Harris’ spiritual gifts and passions include Christian education, teaching, building up the body of Christ, seeing people grow in Christ, and leading the execution of God’s plans. He currently serves as 1st Vice Moderator under Rev. Dr. Sterling R. Swann, Jr., Moderator of the Potomac River Baptist Association and instructor/trustee at the Potomac River Bible Institute where Rev. Dr. Raymond T. Matthews serves as founder and president.
Rev. Harris is bi-vocational. After graduating from the Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s Science and Technology Center in June 1981, he entered North Carolina State University where he majored in Electrical Engineering and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in May 1986. He served as an electronics engineer and intelligence officer for the Navy, Air Force, Army, and Department of Defense from 1986 to present in Maryland, Texas, and Washington, DC.