We are excited to be continuing the legacy and ministry of Nick Harris. Our family is so thankful for the library of content that Dad left on this earth. Our hope is to bring that to you in written word as well as in his voice through our podcast.
In our first podcast episode, we were able to discuss the his life story and ministry. There were so many things we want to show you in pictures so we thought we would share them in this blog post. We also discovered as we have been listening to his teachings that he often used visuals as a teaching aid. So we will be sharing those in future posts.
So, here we go-the shared story of Nick Harris from his family.
Our dad, Nicholas E. Harris was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Dec. 23, 1940. He was adopted by Mary Harris and her husband Raymond Harris, who was a traveling evangelist with the Assembly of God Church. He often referred to his dad as, “the greatest preacher there ever was.”
He graduated from Grand Saline High School in 1958. He went on to attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science, and Midwestern State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts. He attended law school at TU for a year, but then pursued a career in business. Later, he described hearing a pastor with the United Methodist Church, Dr. Thomas, deliver “a message of grace like a law brief,” and it was there that the entire gospel of Jesus came alive and made perfect sense to him. With that fire lit, he completed his work on a master’s in divinity at Phillips University and began his full-time ministry. Nick pastored churches in Carmen, Lamont, Ponca City where we became a family.
We moved to serve at churches in Fairview for 2 1/2 years and then were moved to serve at First United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. He spent years bringing life back to this downtown congregation. In addition, Nick’s ministries over the years included Loaves and Fishes, a weekly Bible study for business people in downtown OKC, who often referred to him as their friend, teacher, counselor and encourager. He also had a long-running radio broadcast called Holy Ground.
He loved the people of Kenya, where over the years, he helped build a medical clinic, a tabernacle and a school alongside Each One Feed One. He also had fierce love for the land of Israel. He led many teaching trips to Israel and other historical countries.
In 1995, the Oklahoma City bombing destroyed the historic First Church. Nick led the effort to restore the church, build a new facility and the open-air prayer chapel, all of this while leading his growing congregation from a remote location. He was thrilled to lead his people on a march back to the completed church, the home where it all started.
Nick was also well-known for his ability to spot talented, young pastors and shepherd them. He always encouraged them to go and start their own ministries when they were ready. Those pastors have in turn touched many lives for Jesus, which was Nick’s hope and dream for them.
Most recently, Nick gifted his beloved congregation of Ariel Chapel with in-depth Bible teaching, his knowledge of Israel, and always, truth. In his almost five decades of ministry, those who were fortunate enough to encounter him described him as their pastor. Nick was a passionate advocate and teacher of relational grace, believing wholly in the living God and the Priesthood of Believers. Nick had an exceptional and extraordinary talent for reaching the spiritual and intellectually-minded while also never leaving out others who were not very far along in their faith.
We know that Dad deeply valued and loved us. We vacationing forty-one years together in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. We traveled to Israel and so many other places, and shared so many family traditions. Our kids called him, “Coach” and he loved them without limit.
Dad passed away on November 23, 2020. He told us that day that he was going home to be with Jesus. We celebrate the life he lived and look forward to seeing him one day in our forever home.