Meet Jim Summey

Pulpits are somewhat like people.  They come in many shapes and sizes and are found in varied places.  In 2009, when Jim Summey agreed to lead High Point Community Against Violence as our first Executive Director, he left the stationary pulpit at the front of the sanctuary at English Road Baptist Church for the dynamic platform that is grass roots community work.

Jim has served in Christian ministry for 36 years, including chaplaincy, youth ministry, teaching and pastoring.  The experiences of those years certainly prepared him for his current work.

Jim grew up on a small farm in North Carolina.  While answering his call into ministry, Jim felt ill prepared to take on ministry in urban settings. So while he was in seminary, Jim spent most summers in New York City, Washington, DC and Atlanta, exposing himself to urban challenges, working in street level ministries and learning the culture of urban life.

After seminary, most of Jim’s church work kept him in rural settings until 1992 when he came to English Road Baptist Church in the West End community of High Point, North Carolina.  Like other areas of town, the West End was occupied by drug dealers and prostitutes and known for violence and unrest.  Residents were afraid.  Jim, along with other pastors in the neighborhood, struggled for years to to help this community clean itself up.

In 1997, a group of people from various areas of the city began what was called the High Point Violence Task Force.  The Task Force partnered with the High Point Police Department to begin a violent crime reduction program that focused on repeat violent and drug offenders, to help deliver neighborhoods like West End.  When West End was identified as the first target or “Initiative” neighborhood, Jim became very involved in the work being done in his community.  He became an active member of the Task Force, now known as High Point Community Against Violence, and has been hard at work ever since.

Jim has traveled across the country speaking of the success of this way of community policing and has worked with the Bureau of Justice Assistance in facilitating it as well.  In 2008, Jim testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the effectiveness of this model and has presented on the same at Harvard University. He continues to be passionate about this way of helping communities through partnering with law enforcement to improve the quality of life by deterring violence.

Jim is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University, has a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary.  He is the father of three children and is grandpa to several more.