Rev. Vincent Harris
1223 Treehaven Lane
Columbus, Ohio 43204
Work Phone: 216.338.3075
email: vharris1[email protected]
Reared in a melting pot of cultures, languages and ethnicities on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the Rev. Vincent Harris recalls the gang fighting and racial riots that prepared him for his current role as a race track chaplain in the Ohio area. Harris ministers to multi-ethnic communities of employees and their families—including children, adolescents and senior citizens—many of whom live near the stables on what’s known as a race track’s “backside.”
“I really enjoy working with people from different cultures and ethnic groups,” he says. “The daily challenges that arise on the backside of the race track are real and profound. The life of the people offers a strong sense of faith and determination. Helping them through the hurdles gives me energy.”
A former drug addict, Harris remembers his own difficult times.
“I see many people who are suffering from addictions and struggling through hard times, living in 8-foot-by-8-foot rooms and working seven days a week,” he says. “I know what it is to live in unacceptable conditions.”
Now in his 18th year of race track ministry, Harris says his top goal is to teach pastors and churches to provide gambling rehabilitation and to train cell groups to provide addictions counseling. In addition, local churches are being asked to coordinate educational programs for employees and family members who speak no English.
When he’s not working, Harris enjoys exercising, playing guitar, visiting the beach and spending time with his wife.
- M.Div., Colgate Rochester (N.Y.) Divinity School
- B.A., Education and Sociology, Lehman College, Bronx, N.Y.
- Clinical Pastoral Education, Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic
- Alcoholism/addictions certificate, Onondaga Council of Addictions, Syracuse, N.Y.
- Interim Pastor, Fabius (N.Y.) Baptist Church
- Youth Pastor, Delaware Street Baptist Church, Syracuse
- Internship, Hospice of Central New York
- International missionary in Asia
- Home missionary commissioning: 1997
- Ordination: 1996
- Birthday: Sept. 2
HOME MISSION HIGHLIGHTS:
As part of the chaplaincy program, food, clothing and toiletries are provided to race track employees and their families. Donations are continuously needed. To donate, contact Harris at [email protected] or 216-338-3075.