Pastor Jesse Morris once fed hungry patrons as the owner of Kentucky’s Old Happy Days Barbecue, but now he feeds hungry souls with the word of God.
After 11 years in the restaurant business, Morris, with the support of his wife, Stephanie, said he was ready to enter the ministry and helped open Inner City Breakthrough Ministries in Lexington.
He also continued his work as a cook by starting a feeding ministry for the homeless and poor.
Then after several years, he felt God wanted him to turn his focus to Nicholasville.
“The Lord said the ground was fertile; there was a need in Nicholasville for this kind of ministry,” Jesse Morris said. “Our purpose is to bring down the walls, bring the people together as one — there’s no color, no denomination, no creed; we’re just one serving God, and the Lord called us to come to Nicholasville for that purpose.”
The doors of Inner City Breakthrough Ministries in Nicholasville, located at 201 S. 1st St., held its first service Sunday, June 3, to a handful of devoted Christians who plan to make a difference in the community.
“Where God restores broken people — 2 Corn. 5:17-18” is painted on the sign of the building, and Jesse Morris said that is exactly what his church will be for the city of Nicholasville.
“My whole ministry is about putting together the broken pieces and putting lives back together,” he said. “Me and my wife have done it together for almost seven years.”
Stephanie Morris said she always knew her husband was called by the Lord into the ministries and has blessed him in his pursuit of that calling.
“He’s been called to help restore His people,” she said. “It’s taken a lot of commitment on our part, on our family’s part, but Jesse has always had a desire to help people. The best part is seeing all the people’s lives once they are transformed by the gospel.”
The current congregation size is approximately 20-25, but Morris said he finds those numbers encouraging because “God’s presence” is in the church every day.
“We shared a common vision, and we see and feel a general brokenness in the body of Christ,” parishioner Terasen Collins said Sunday morning after the service. “And we came here today because we wanted to be a part of a place that brought people together — no matter where you’re at in your life or where you’re at in your faith, we can all come together and help one another.”
As far as adversity, Jesse Morris is considered legally blind, but he said it has done nothing to interfere with his mission from God.
“Our goal is to bring the multitudes together, and as we do that, we’ll be able to better serve the community — feed those who need it, help people find jobs, get families back together, help with housing, put people back together — that’s our whole purpose, and giving them the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said.
Currently, the church is still building a pastoral staff and is looking for those ready to serve the people by serving God, Stephanie Morris said. They are also looking for musicians for praise and worship and to strengthen the youth outreach but have faith that those things will come as God sees fit, she said.
“We’ll have the food outreach again, and we hope to eventually have a basketball hoop for our youth,” Jesse Morris said. “These things take time — God’s time.”
Anyone interested in serving or attending Inner City Breakthrough Ministries can call 859-885-0007.