Pastor Jerry Young was born in Scott, Mississippi. One of ten children born to Reverend E.L. and Elizabeth Young, Jerry was raised alongside a diverse group of siblings, seven boys and two girls. He fondly recalls his life as a “preacher’s son”. Add growing up in the Mississippi Delta in the heart of the Civil Rights era, enduring the pains and struggles of several disappointments, and beating the odds of his predetermined failures, and it becomes increasingly clear why God called Pastor Young to the ministry at the tender age of seventeen. His service began at Mt. Tennia Baptist Church in Lamont, Mississippi and extended to him serving as pastor of St. John and Pilgrim Rest Baptist Churches, both in Greenville, Mississippi. Dr. Young has faithfully led the vibrant congregation of New Hope Baptist Church since 1980. He is the founder and headmaster of New Hope Christian Pre-School and New Hope Christian Elementary School, together serving 300+ students, from infants to 6th grade.
An avid scholar and life-long learner, Pastor Young attended Nugent Center High School in Bolivar County and went on to attain an Associate of Arts in Social Science from Coahoma Junior College in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Social Welfare from Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, where he met and married the love of his life, Mrs. Helen Akins Young. With her support and encouragement, Pastor Young has earned a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Instilling the values of faith, education, and love, they are the proud parents of two daughters, Dr. Jerlen Nelson and Kelli Elizabeth (Benjamin) Hart. Adding to their life’s joy are their three granddaughters and one grandson.
Dr. Jerry Young has led his congregation to embrace a vision for ministry and missions. “Our vision is to touch our community with the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ in order that a Christian-world, and life view may permeate our communities.” With this global perspective in mind, Dr. Young’s major objective for the church is “…to glorify God through our commitment to help Christ fulfill His mission in the world.” Under his watchful care, Pastor Young has led New Hope to experience explosive growth physically, spiritually, and influentially for the cause of Christ. To date, the ministry is comprised of over three thousand members and forty-four ministries. As a mission- driven institution, New Hope excels in ministries and missions, from as close as the church’s backyard all the way to Honduras and Africa, with the visionary leadership of Dr. Young, coupled with the various talents and sacrifices of the church staff, administrative staff, and members of the body. He credits the “quality people who help me do ministry” with the effectiveness of the church’s call to answer. In the midst of a major capital campaign to build a new facility on the 27-acre property purchased around the corner from the present campus, Dr. Young provided inspiration for New Hope to adopt a new motto: “It takes teamwork to make the dream work!” “They make it happen”, he says. And indeed, from the young children to the seasoned adults, they are all on the team, making it happen.
Active in the community, Dr. Young has served on several local, state, and national boards and has been awarded numerous prestigious honors and awards. In addition, he is a regularly invited guest to speak/lecture at the various schools, colleges, and school districts throughout Mississippi and across the nation. A highly-skilled and sought-after minister, Dr. Young has had the opportunity to preach in pulpits across the country and has breached several racial and denominational lines, touching them with the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Presently, Dr. Young serves on the Board of Trustees at Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi, as well as his alma mater, Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi. He is the immediate past President of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi, Incorporated.
Dr. Young was elected as the 18th President of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. in September 2014, during the convention’s 134th Annual Session held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Young has served the convention for over 15 years. Dr. William J. Shaw, 16th President of the NBC, USA, Inc. appointed Dr. Young as the 2nd Vice President over the Southwestern Region, where he served two terms. During Dr. Julius R. Scruggs’s term as 17th President, Dr. Young served as Vice President-at-Large.