Jay was a founding member of our Board in 2015, but he is now assuming a new role in our ministry. He claims that as a child, he was a “shy, little” kid. But you would never use these two adjectives – if you know Jay now. Continue reading below, and you will learn more about Jay, and understand why he was asked to be our leader. Jay grew up in Star City, Arkansas, the only child of a faithful Christian family. He was part of the same church from the time he was born until he went to college. God began enlarging Jay’s vision of his life at a young age, beginning at age 8 when he first felt the Spirit’s calling on his life. Once again he felt the Lord’s calling on his life the summer before his junior year in high school. It was so powerful by then that it shaped his college direction. Whereas he loved playing football and could have gotten scholarships in college, God’s calling guided him to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR, where he pursued Biblical studies. Toward the end of his college years, he changed his major to Education, so he could become a football coach. This extended his college tenure by one year, just long enough for him to meet his future wife, Nicole. The two got married and Jay went on to become a high school football coach for the next 10 years. Along the way they were blessed with four beautiful children: Gracie, Allie Jewel (“AJ”), Cash, and Sadie. Jay moved from coaching into Financial Services, and in the midst of this transition, several personal struggles were causing him to press closer to the Lord. Around 2012, two of his mentors mentioned the same thing to him, as they said, “I’ve finally learned what it means to Abide in Christ.” At the time, Jay didn’t make the connection, but both of these men had gone through The Journey. Later, after speaking at a Prayer Breakfast, a man came up to Jay and spoke a prophetic word to him. He said, “God is going to use you to touch thousands of men. Talk to your mentors.” Jay had no idea what the man was talking about, but deep down, he knew God had something special in store for him. Another man at Jay’s table overheard the words of the man, and he knew what the Lord was saying. He knew about The Journey and felt strongly that this was Jay’s future. Finally, Jay went through The Journey in 2013 – and like his mentors, he learned what it meant to “Abide in Christ.” He was only half way through his first Journey process when he started thinking like a “Guide” – wondering how he could take this process to the men of Memphis. He became a Journey Guide in 2014 and began rallying men to join him in The Journey process. The transformation in Jay’s life was noticed by more that “his guys.” Jay’s mother-in-law, Roberta, who has lived with Jay and Nicole since becoming a widow, told Jay she wanted to take a group of ladies through The Journey. Jay didn’t think the masculine slant of this “process” would work with women, so he tried to discourage her. When he found that he could not dissuade her, he finally asked, “Why do you want to do this so badly?” Her answer was straightforward and simple – she had seen his life transformed by The Journey, and she wanted the opportunity to have the same experience. Little did she know what God had in store for her. After leading a group of women through The Journey, Roberta laid the foundation for a spiritual movement among women, which is now called, “Influencers-Memphis Women.” God has been calling Jay into waters that are deeper and deeper, and wider and wider. He has now surrendered to the call of God that he felt long ago. He is no longer that “shy, little” kid – on the contrary, Jay is now a larger than life “man magnet.” As our Executive Director, Jay is now the hands and feet and voice of our ministry, and every member of the Board is excited about what the future holds for Jay and our ministry. We ask you to pray for Jay – that he would continue to go deeper in his abiding relationship with our Lord, because it is the key to his success as our Executive Director, as a husband and father, and as man. And if you feel led to support the cause of Influencers-Memphis financially, we encourage you to do so while you are on this website. Your contribution will also go toward supporting Jay and his family.