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Reverend Dr. James

Reverend Dr. James Douglas Clay, a native of Chicago, Illinois, proudly serves as the senior pastor of New Visions Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. His resilient journey began in Chicago Public Schools until destiny led him to Detroit, Michigan, where he proudly graduated from Samuel C. Mumford High School in June 1982. After dedicating 4 ½ years to the United States Army, Dr. Clay transitioned to a career spanning esteemed Fortune 500 Corporations like ADT, AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, and Time Warner.

Rooted in faith, Dr. Clay's spiritual foundation was laid in the corridors of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit under the guidance of Reverend Dr. Charles Gilcrest Adams. Post-military service, his fervor for the Gospel led him to The New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, where Reverend Dr. Stephen John Thurston's teachings enriched his spiritual journey. Acknowledging the divine call to ministry in February 2005, Dr. Clay preached his initial sermon at The New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church.  In August 2005, Dr. Clay's relocation to Nashville, Tennessee, resulted in his spiritual union with the St. James Missionary Baptist Church under the esteemed leadership of Reverend Dr. George T. Brooks, Sr. His ordination in November 2009 marked a pivotal moment in his sacred journey. His dedication to God's work was unwavering, culminating in his stewardship as the Pastor of Victory Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago in November 2009 until May 2013. A watershed moment arrived on Sunday, June 30, 2013, when he was elected as the Pastor of New Visions Baptist Church of Nashville, TN, fostering a community of unwavering faith, love, and inclusivity.

A proud alumnus of the American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Clay's academic pursuits culminated in a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology. His thirst for knowledge propelled him to achieve a Master of Christian Education, a Master of Divinity, and the most recent milestone, a Doctor of Ministry degree from Hosanna Bible College in Durham, North Carolina. Embracing the ethos of lifelong learning, he completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).

Beyond the pulpit, Dr. Clay's commitment to service extends to the wider community, exemplified by his roles as a Chaplain at the Davidson County Sheriff's Office, and currently as a volunteer Chaplain with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and as an Outreach Coordinator at Metro Nashville's Office of Homeless Services, aiding the homeless in finding their path to stability and shelter. A believer in denominational work, Pastor Clay served as the Moderator of the Stones River District Association and as Vice-President of the Pastors and Ministers Division of the Middle Region of the Tennessee Baptist Missionary and Educational State Convention of the National Baptist Convention U.S.A. Dr. Clay is an initiate of the Omega Lambda Lambda Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, serving as a Life Member and Chaplain, embodying the values of brotherhood and service.

For 27 steadfast years, he has shared life's journey with Teana LaShae Thomas, an unwavering partner, and together they celebrate the blessings of parenthood bestowed upon them with their cherished children, Jamese LaShae and James Douglas Clay, II.

Dr. James Douglas Clay's life is a testament to unwavering faith, lifelong learning, and boundless dedication to serving humanity—a beacon of hope and inspiration for all who walk alongside him on life's profound journey.