Rick Harris grew up right here in the Roanoke Valley. Rick was saved at the age of 11 after realizing that a prayer at 5 years old to follow Christ was something he was unsure about. After a dream at 11 years old left him wondering if would go to Heaven, Rick decided he needed to confirm his salvation and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. After that decision his Christian life had its’ ups and downs; he was very active in a church youth group, but also was living one way at church and another way at school. During camp one summer, Rick felt called to ministry and God gave direction that the area of ministry would be with teens.
Rick strayed and did not pursue his calling even though he was still attending church regularly. He and his wife, Jeri, both attended the same high school even though they did not know each other at the time. They met in a college/career Sunday School class and began to date, was later married and began a family. In the early days of marriage, while attending a church here in Roanoke, God began to work again in Rick’s life and he came to recognize that his call to ministry as a teen was real and that if he was going to truly walk with Christ, he would need to pursue that call for full-time vocational ministry.
Rick attended Liberty University where he received a degree in Church Ministries with an emphasis in Youth Ministries. He followed that degree with a Masters of Religious Education from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and has recently capped the educational process with a Doctorate of Ministries degree from Liberty University School of Divinity, with a cognate in Pastoral Leadership.
Rick, with Jeri by his side, has given over 30 years to serving students and parents in local church settings in Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. They are both thrilled to be called to Villa Heights Baptist and look forward to many years serving Christ in this wonderful church.
They have 4 adult children (3 are married and 1 still single) and 5 grandchildren all living here in Virginia. Family is an important part of their lives with lots of activity around the house during the holidays.
Rick’s focus for ministry is a strong belief that teens can and should live a Christian life example as challenged by 1Timothy 4:12. Rick’s life verse is 1 Corinthians 11:1 where Paul says. “Follow me as I follow Christ”.