By Clint Confehr
NASHVILLE, TN — One of the greatest joys a father can have is to see his children walk in the ways of the Lord.
The Rev. Dr. Christopher Jackson, senior pastor at Pleasant Green Baptist Church, celebrated that on his sixth anniversary in the pulpit there on Jefferson Street.
“This is what he wanted for his anniversary and we were able to deliver the word,” Rev. Jackson’s oldest son, Joshua, said of that proud day.
Everyone in the family photo here has spoken from the pulpit, although it’s the parents who have the credentials. “My dad just gave us the opportunity,” Joshua explained.
Jackson’s three sons took it to heart. Proof is on Pleasant Green’s Facebook page. Each had 15 minutes of fame in the pulpit May 26. The video was edited to four minutes each.
“They surprised a lot of people,” father Jackson said. “They came from different perspectives.”
• Joshua discussed serving in the body of Christ. Now a Middle Tennessee State University graduate, he’s at Regent University in Virginia Beach.
• Jemiah dissected relationships; loving, toxic and binding. He studies at Austin Peay State University.
• Julien said mountains are where we meet God but valleys are where God meets us. He’s at Tennessee State University.
Their mother, Dr. Coreen Jackson, earned her doctorate in Communications at Howard University. She’s serving as dean of TSU’s Honors College. Like her husband, she’s ordained and licensed to preach.
Could Shakespear’s phrase, “Past is Prologue,” prove true for the brothers? It seems true for their father as theological seeds were planted before his birth.
His grandfather was the Rev. W. Crutcher. His parents, Christine and A.L. Jackson, were very active at church. His uncles were: the Rev. W.T Crutcher of Knoxville; and the Revs. A.P. and A.T. Crutcher in Chattanooga. Jackson was born in Chattanooga.
“People have various reasons for their calling,” Pleasant Green’s pastor says. “At age 16, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.”
His calling came in college, well after he “sort of resented” predictions from some “ladies in church” who said, “‘I know you’re going to be a preacher.’ I thought I’d be anything but” a minister.
At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, he majored in English and minored in public relations to be a journalist. Now, he writes sermons and a column for the Tribune.
In his last year at UT-K, he started a ministry for the Baptist Student Union which had no ministry with a significant number of African American students. That led him to campus minister Bill Lee who invited students to a conference in Memphis. It was 1977. He was 22. A day after graduating, he flew to New York for a 13-week summer mission serving elementary school students.
“Imagine somebody from Tennessee taking 70 kids from the Bronx to the Empire State Building on the subway,” Jackson says. “I don’t think I’d do it today.”
Back to Knoxville, he was an assistant campus minister. At Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, he majored in campus ministry. His first full-time post; Lincoln University, Jefferson City. Nine years later, he was called to Nashville and served a decade as campus minister at TSU, Fisk University and American Baptist College.
Temple Church on Kings Lane called him to be an assistant pastor. After 11 years, he was called to Pleasant Green to be the pastor. That was six years ago.
Apparently, his early career prepared him to raise sons.