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Rev. James Henry Harris

Above, Pastor Harris preaches a sermon titled “Woe To You!” at a pastor's installation service.

Rev. Dr. James Henry Harris is the Distinguished Professor and Chair of Homiletics and Practical Theology and Research Scholar in Religion at the School of Theology, Virginia Union University and pastor of Second Baptist Church (West End) both in Richmond, VA. He is one of ten children born to Richard and Carrie Anna Harris in Chesterfield

County, Virginia. He has a passion for teaching, preaching, and helping the poor 

and the oppressed. Dr. Harris works hard to make sure that the young people in

his Church and community finish high school and attend college or trade school.


He has earned the Master of Arts in philosophical theology from the University of Virginia, the Master of Arts in English and African-American Literature from Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Master of Arts in philosophy from Old Dominion University where he also received the Ph.D. in Urban-Studies. He earned the Doctor of Ministry degree in Preaching and African-American Church Studies from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH as a Samuel DeWitt Proctor/Charles Booth Fellow.


He is a former President of the North American Academy of Homiletics and the Urban Coalition for Social Change. At age 23, he earned the Master of Divinity degree from the School of Theology, Virginia Union University and that same year became Pastor of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Norfolk, VA.


Dr. Harris has taught preaching at the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education, the American Baptist Churches of the South, and for local churches and pastors. He has been a visiting professor of Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, the ACTS Doctor of Ministry in Preaching Program at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. He was lecturer in Homiletics at the 2016 Hampton University Ministers’ Conference, Hampton, VA. Dr. Harris served as the morning lecturer at the 2016 Hampton University Ministers Conference


He is the author of several books, including Black Suffering: Silent Pain, Hidden Hope (Fortress Press, 2020), Beyond the Tyranny of the Text: Preaching in Front of the Bible to Create a New World (Abingdon Press, 2019), No Longer Bound: A Theology of Reading and Preaching (Cascade Books, 2013), The Forbidden Word (Cascade Books, 2012), The Word Made Plain: The Power and Promise of Preaching (Fortress Press, 2004), Preaching Liberation (Fortress Press, 1996), and Pastoral Theology: A Black Church Perspective (Fortress Press, 1991). He is married to Reverend Demetrius B. Harris and they are proud parents of two adult sons, James Corey and Cameron Christopher Harris.

Pastor Harris gives us a word. Click here.

Pastor Harris says It's Time to Grow. Click here.

Pastor Harris speaks In Defense of Hope. Click here.

Pastor Harris speaks about LOVE.Click here.

Pastor Harris speaks about The Hope of Hospitality. Click here.

Pastor Harris speaks about The Joy of Our Children: Our Salvation. Click here.

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