Rev. James Turner II
Rev. James Turner II is the son of Pastor James Turner Sr. & Donzetta Turner. He began his spiritual journey at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church where he served under his father until death in May 27, 2013. He has one son, James Turner III and two brother who Pastor, Rev. Charles Turner (New Pleasant Grove Baptist Church-Houston, TX) & Rev. J. Lawrence Turner (Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church-Memphis, TN) The Nashville, TN native is one of the most sought after individuals in the country, and rightfully so. Educated in the Nashville public school system, Turner has become one of the nation’s most knowledgeable gang experts, and most visible advocates for youth.
Rev. Turner’s zest for leadership began in high school and continued on the college campus of Tennessee State University where he served as President of the National Midwest Baptist Youth Conference and Youth President of the Nashville City District Association. After college, Turner moved to Atlanta where he became a student at Morehouse College of Religion. While there, he was asked to speak at several youth conferences, as well as a host of groups and organizations in Atlanta. He also worked as Youth Specialist with the ITC Health Initiative and Curriculum Editor of the United Negro College Fund Hope Program.
After college, and the birth of his son, Rev. Turner returned to Nashville and became the Executive Director of the National Midwest Youth Conference and served as Steering Committee Vice-Chair of the Nashville Youth Violence Prevention Center. But it was while working as a probation officer with the Juvenile Court of Nashville that his advocacy for at-risk youth and gang members was sparked. While working as a probation officer, Rev. Turner became attuned to some alarming trends: 200 of the youth on his caseload were gang members, and 90% of them were placed in the State’s custody and tried as adults. He wanted to find a way to reach these young men before they got caught up in a culture of violence, crime and the court system. Immediately, he organized and hosted The State of Black Youth Summit to begin a dialogue on the epidemic of gang life and its effects on today’s youth. After the summit, he met Cornelius Carroll, a former gang member and national gang expert. They joined forces to begin a gang awareness and counseling program called Saving Our Youth, which currently presents to over 250 organizations and youth groups annually. Because of Saving Our Youth, young gang leaders and members have refocused their lives, graduated from high school and are now in college.
In 2008, Rev. Turner relocated to Baltimore, MD, to serve as Youth Pastor at Empowerment Temple, a 5000 member church led by Dr. Jamal Bryant. Baltimore is a city known for its soaring number of youth involved in gangs, and lectured about gangs and violence prevention to many schools, churches and community leaders. He became a board member of the Woodbourne Center for Boys and was a committee member of the Johns Hopkins University Center of Youth Violence. After a year, he moved back to Nashville, where he worked at the Oasis Youth Center as a Youth Specialist and Resident Gang Expert. At the Oasis Center he served and mentored young men in Woodland Hills Youth Development Center and provided post – release case management to assist them in their educational & career goals. A year later, he wrote a grant, founded the R.E.A.L. Program at Oasis and was the first in Tennessee to be awarded state grant of $150,000 to serve juvenile delinquents involved in gangs and with gun charges toward success and to prevent them from re-offending through intense weekly group mentoring. Through his continued efforts in Gang Awareness he was featured in articles in the Tennessean and hosted the city’s first Gang Summit.
In 2011, Rev. James Turner and Cornelius Carroll wrote & published Black Gangs In America. Through these initiatives, Turner hopes to be a catalyst to help save a generation by creating avenues to success. In 2013, Rev. Turner released his new mentoring program True Gentlemen and you can catch him every Tuesday morning at 11:30 AM as the Host of Got Hope on 760 AM or www.760TheGospel.com.
Pastor Turner is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.