James Harris


Superintendent James Harris Sr. age 92, departed this life and was called into eternal rest on March 3, 2021.

Superintendent James Harris Sr. was born in Greensboro, Florida, September 2, 1928. He was the fourth of eleven children born to the late Elder Emanuel and Sister Rosa Ella Gainous Harris. The family moved to Steubenville, Ohio when he was two months old. The family moved to Alliance, Ohio and then returned to Steubenville when he was 11years old. He graduated from Steubenville High School, “Big Red” in 1946. Supt. Harris served honorably in the United States Air Force from 1950 to 1954 as a Staff Sargent.

One Sunday in July 1948, Supt. James Harris met Herdasine Jones of Hamlet, North Carolina on the church door steps in Steubenville. They were united in holy matrimony on August 28, 1952, at the Burtonwood Air Force Base, in Warrington, England. Through the years they were blessed with six children.

Supt. James Harris received Biblical Training from Malone College in Canton, Ohio, where he studied Religion. He earned his Bachelors Degree in Religious Education in 1960. In 1963, the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio and Supt. Harris was employed by Cuyahoga County Department of Human Services. In 1968, he entered Case Western Reserve Graduate School of Applied Social Science, where he received a Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) degree in 1970. After graduation, he served as a member of the Nomination Committee at Malone College for several years and was Chairman for one year. In 1972, Superintendent Harris received a Certificate of Merit from Malone College Alumni Association for outstanding “Service to Alma Mater”, for the development of skill basics to his profession and for practicing the highest standards of professional and personal ethics in dedicated service to humanity. He returned to Malone College where he taught Introduction to Social Work for several years.

In October 1987, Supt. Harris retired from the Cuyahoga County Department of Human Services, having served 23 years as a Social Worker and Administrator in various departments. During his tenure there, he instituted a Night Placement Program for the homeless. Other positions he held were in the Nursing Home Division, where he served as a Social Worker, Coordinator of the Hough Euclid Neighborhood Service Center and Supervisor of Investigators in the Child Support Dept.

Supt. James Harris accepted the Lord in 1949. He was called to the ministry and was ordained in August 1961. In August of 1963, he was appointed Pastor of a store front church, Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, on Wade Park in Cleveland. The church moved to a larger edifice on Giddings Rd. In 1968, Supt. Harris was led to ask Supt. James Boyd to bring the Prayer Temple Church of God in Christ family to the church on Giddings Rd. The Emmanuel church then became a part of Prayer Temple with Supt. James Boyd as Pastor.

As God would have it, August 13, 1970, Supt. James Harris became the Pastor of Jefferson Community Church of God in Christ. It was common for Supt. Harris to lead the congregation in singing “I Will Make The Darkness Light”, I Never Shall Forget The Day” and “I Want To Be Ready – Walk In Jerusalem Just Like John”. During his pastorate, many seeds were planted, many lives were touched, many souls were saved. Several ministers, missionaries, evangelists, teachers, and musicians received their call into ministry and were given the opportunity to nurture their calling and gift.

While pastoring in Jefferson, Ohio, Supt. Harris was called to be the co-pastor of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Steubenville, as his father’s health was failing. On December 15, 1980, Supt. James Harris became Pastor of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Steubenville. He pastored both Jefferson Community and Emmanuel until January 1, 2009, when he retired from the Emmanuel. He retired from pastoring Jefferson Community in 2012.

Through the years Supt. Harris has rendered service to the people of God at the local, district and state levels. He served as YPWW President and Deacon at Emmanuel. He was Chairman of the Pentecostal District in Cleveland, Ohio. He was appointed Superintendent of the Steubenville District. Under Bishop R.S. Fields’ leadership, he was Vice President of the Executive Board, Co Chairman of Christian Education and a member of the State Finance Committee. He was appointed to the State Executive Committee by Bishop Walter E. Jordan and was appointed to the State Trustee Board by Bishop Edward T. Cook.

As Supt. Harris loved warm weather, he moved to Fruitland Park, Florida. He traveled to Ohio several times during the year. While in Florida he worshipped with The Leesburg Church of God in Christ, where the late Supt. Lonnie J. Smith was the Pastor. At the Homegoing Celebrations for his nephew and sister, Supt. Harris was reacquainted with Mother Lillian Camak. The two were blessed to be married on July 29, 2018 after morning service at Mt. Zion Church of God in Christ in Columbus, Ohio. Supt. Harris made Columbus his home and attended Mt. Zion, where Supt. Nehemiah Howard is Pastor.

God indeed blessed Supt. Harris with long life. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Herdasine Jones Harris; son, James Harris Jr.; daughters, Roslyn Lockwood and Janice Chappell; sisters, Elvira Shropshire, Mary Lou Brown, Louise Carter, and Martha Ellis; brothers, Henry Tyrone Harris and Moses Harris.

Supt. Harris leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife, Lillian Camak Harris; children, Beryl (Dr. Herman) Jackson of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, Adrienne Harris of Fruitland Park, Florida, Lawrence Harris of Rock Creek, Ohio; Son in Law, Elder Isaac Chappell of Jefferson, Ohio; stepchildren, Patricia (Marvin) O’Daniel, Brenda Givens, and James Givens of Columbus, Ohio; sisters, Rosa Price and Beatrice Bridges of Columbus, Ohio; brothers, Bishop Emanuel (Joyce) Harris of Miami, Florida and John T. Harris of Columbus, Ohio; and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephew, family and friends.

Visitation 10:00am and Funeral 11:00am Saturday, March 13, 2021 at at The Word COGIC, 115 Wilson Ave.

Interment 12:00pm Monday at Oakdale Cemetery.

Click to View Program

Condolence Messages

  1. Evang. Dilene Palmer

    To the Family of Superintendent Harris, You have my sincere condolences in the passing of your family member, God’s servant. Supertendent Harris was as an anointed preacher and teacher of God’s word and he was a wise leader. He will be highly missed.

    • Thank you for your condolence is the passing of our dad. We will greatly miss him. Continue to keep us in your prayers.

      God Bless You,
      Beryl Jackson

  2. Sending my deepest condolences to the family of Elder James Harris. Praying for you. Elder James Harris was a great man of God. Take your rest now. Your labor is done.

    • Thank you for your condolence and prayers in the passing of our dad. We will miss him. Continue to keep us in your prayers.
      God Bless You

  3. Apostle Sylvester Ovwighotu

    Apostle Sylvester Ovwighotu.

    I heard of Suprintendent Emeritus James Harris in the evening of his wonderful life, I had the privilege of praying for him, he would be missed. He made his mark in the word of the kingdom, Adieu Papa James

  4. Gigi Harris Banks

    My Dear Beloved Family,
    Another pioneer and true ambassador of Christ has reaped God’s reward of eternal life! We will miss him dearly. We will never forget his bold preaching, his singing, his contagious laughter, and everything that made him a special husband, father, brother, son, uncle, friend. I believe with my whole heart that he was a preacher after God’s own heart.

    I’m thankful for the countless memories and I pray the Master’s comfort is bestowed on all that loved him as we mourn the loss of a great man of God.

    God is able Family!

  5. Pastor Bobby and Lady Gwen Jackson

    God understands that if the people we love are suddenly taken from us, He obviously loved them more. God then reiterates, the way to have them live on in our hearts, is to never stop loving them…

  6. Darryl and Aleta Walden

    To the Harris Family! Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
    “May the Lord console you when you mourn, giving you beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that you may be called a tree of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” – Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)

  7. Richard Harris & Martha Harris

    To the Harris Family & Our Beloved church Mother-Mother Camack-Harris, We’re praying for you and your family during this time.
    Mother Martha Harris & Richard Harris

  8. Adrianne & Bernard Hill

    We will truly miss and always live you. Bernard and Adrianne Hill. The Mariah Morse clan

  9. Howard A CROCKETT

    Pastor Howard Anthony Crockett & Maryellen Meredith Crockett ~ Germany

    Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints. Mother Lillian Comack-Harris and family, please know we are praying for you. What an awesome legacy Supt. Harris has left behind to emulate.

  10. Barbara Harris

    Praying for the Harris family. We worked together in the jurisdictional finance department he was a joy to work with will miss him dearly

  11. Sending my deepest condolences to the Harris Family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Rest peacefully Mr James Harris

  12. Sending my deepest condolences to this great family. My prayers are with you all.

  13. Dear Family,
    Dwight, Michael and I wish that we could be with you today. Our thoughts, love and prayers are with you today and always. We truly loved James. We know he is at peace with the Lord,

    Love you all,
    Glenda, Dwight, Jr. and Michael

    • Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. We understand that you could not be with us physically, but knowing that you are thinking of us is comforting. b
      Keep us in prayer.

      Love you all,
      Beryl, Adrienne and Lawrence

  14. To Mother Harris and the Harris family
    I am praying for you during this time of loss. Praying that God will sustain and strengthen you. Superintendent Harris was a wonderful and anointed man of God. He was very well acquainted with our family, and had a deep love and respect for my grandfather The late Reverand Robert B Evans whe often traveled to his home and churches both in Steubenville and Cleveland. He always remembered me wherever he saw me over the years. He will certainly be missed. I am praying for his daughters and other family members we are like family. May God forever keep you in his care.

  15. Mercedes Williams

    To Mother Lillian Camak Harris, I was so saddened to hear of your Husband’s passing. Please accept my heartfelt condolences for you and your family. I will keep you all close in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. May God keep his loving ARMS AROUND ALL!!

  16. Mercedes Williams

    To The O’Daniel, and Givens Familys, My heart aches to hear this news of the loss of your loved one. I just learned of this today. I would like to offer you and your family, from myself and my family our deepest and most sincere condolences in your loss. May God’s Peace and Love lift you from sorrow. I Love you ALL!! Will be Praying for you ALL!!

  17. Minnie p Johnson

    So sorry for the loss of your love one Dr.pastor Minnie p Johnson
    South Carolina

  18. James Harris III

    I am very sorry about your loved one, Emeritus. I was unable to know him personally, but I have heard many good things about him. Throughout James’ life, he did many good works. These good works are known as being a Superintendent, serving in the Air Force, devoting his life to Christ as a pastor, and last, but certainly not least, he was a family man. Emeritus had many family members, including his son, James Harris jr. Recently, I spoke to him on the phone. When he picked up, all that could be heard was the voice of a middle aged man, “You on speakuh phone” he exclaimed. I then proceeded to ask if he was James Harris. There was no answer and I hung up. It was truly a very eye opening experience and lead me to love his father even more.

Leave Your Condolence