Jackson to Lead Southwest District
Meet the exuberant Rev. Jay Jackson, TAC’s incoming Superintendent of the Southwest District.
“I kept my mouth shut – which was unusual for me,” admits Jay Jackson, a self-pro-claimed extreme extrovert, recalling the initial moment he felt a tug on his heart to go into the ministry. At the time, Jay was a successful manager with a global energy giant, his wife was happily employed, and he had always assumed his giftedness was in math and science, evidenced by the phrase: summa cum laude on his West Virginia University diploma.
“During a Disciple Bible study at Atascocita UMC, three others in the class expressed a call into ministry similar to what I was feeling,” he shares, “but I didn’t step out in that direction until my fellow classmates later affirmed me in a way that spurred me to explore a higher calling.”
The son of a United Methodist minister in the West Virginia Conference, Jay began seeing history repeat itself, when he enrolled in Perkins School of Theology at SMU, several years after his dad’s 1985 death. “My dad never heard me preach,” says Jay, “but he was proud of me as an engineer and he would certainly be proud and pleased about my new venture as District Superintendent of the Southwest District.”
For the next few months, Rev. Jackson will continue in his role as senior pastor of Holy Covenant UMC in Katy, TX until another minister is appointed July 1, but will simultaneously assume the new role as Southwest District Superintendent on May 1.
Rev. Jackson believes there are great similarities in his two careers. “Exxon and the Methodist Church are global organizations, involving diverse landscapes and unique conditions and locations,” he says, “but in ministry, we have the best CEO in the universe.” He greatly anticipates his new role as a District Superintendent to be a continuation of his fruitful relationships within his own district. “I thoroughly love to talk with others about their dreams and collaborate as much as possible to accomplish God’s will. I look forward to nudging and nurturing and learning how I can assist local congregations to discover their vision and build better communities.”
His experience at building stronger church communities dates back to the 1990s when he transferred corporate leadership skills to faith-based leadership opportunities almost immediately. Jay initially entered the ministry serving the Colfax Circuit between Canton and Van, Texas. “My exciting, chaotic journey began with juggling three seminary classes, three children and three east Texas churches,” he explains, “but I was blessed to serve churches that embraced their potential and wanted to grow and thrive.” In 1998, The Texas Annual Conference named Jay Jackson as Small Membership Church Pastor of the Year. He was ordained as a Deacon in 1997 and as an Elder in 2001, serving as Chairman of the Conference Commission on Equitable Compensation and active in camps and mission work along the way.
“Small churches really help pastors learn how to be pastors,” he adds, “and those lessons have helped me at Holy Covenant to reshape our vision, as well. Being the new Southwest District Superintendent will provide even more opportunities to do the same. I am excited about enabling and empowering local congregations in their outreach and mission work.”
Just for fun
Next time you see this self-proclaimed “extreme extrovert” -- TAC’s newest District Superintendent -- ask him about his golf game, his wife LeAnn and five children, his West Virginia Mountaineers or his Homiletics Award for a sermon entitled “Sooey Pig” at Perkins in 1999. He, admittedly, will not be able to keep his mouth shut on any of these personal passions.