Pastors Rudy & Juanita Rasmus
Rudy and Juanita Rasmus are pastors, authors, and humanitarians with a passion for outreach to the world’s most challenged communities. From Rudy’s previous life of owning and operating a “borderline bordello,” today he co-pastors the St. John’s Church in Downtown Houston with his wife Juanita. A church that began with 9 existing members in 1992, St. John’s has grown to thousands where every week people of every social and economic background share the same pew. He attributes the success of the church to a compassionate group of people who have embraced the vision of tearing down the walls of classism, sexism, and racism and building bridges of unconditional love, universal recovery, and unprecedented hope.
Thanks to generous support from a collaboration of government agencies and a significant donation from Tina, Beyoncé, and Solange Knowles the St. John’s Downtown campus includes the Knowles-Temenos Apartments, a 43-unit Single Room Occupancy development designed to provide permanent living accommodations for formerly homeless women and men. Temenos CDC portfolio also includes an 80-unit apartment community to meet the growing need for permanent supportive housing for the previously homeless in Houston, Texas and a 15-unit apartment project for chronic inebriates and the most vulnerable homeless individuals in the Houston community. Eighteen years ago Kelly Rowland teamed up with Beyoncé and Tina Knowles to build the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth where community empowerment activities for the young and old take place every week. The facility is currently serving as the base of operations for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
Pastors Rudy and Juanita founded the Bread of Life, Inc. (a not for profit corporation) with Juanita in December of 1992 and began serving 500 meals per day to the homeless in the sanctuary at St. John’s. Years later the Bread of Life has changed the landscape of Downtown Houston providing an array of services to homeless men and women. The project also distributes over 9 tons of fresh produce weekly to hungry families. St. John’s is one of few faith communities in the U.S. providing HIV/AIDS testing to churchgoers on Sundays through the innovative “Get Tested Project.” For many years Pastor Rudy has coordinated domestic and global anti-hunger initiatives in conjunction with Beyoncé’s concert tours and travels extensively developing and supporting programs around the world for people experiencing poverty. Today, with a focus on social impact investing, the Bread of Life owns and operates Eco Life Employment LLC, a digital employment and staffing agency for men and women with troubled past lives and the Amazing KMAZ 102.5fm radio station.
Rudy and Juanita have been married for 32 years and are the proud parents of two outstanding daughters, Morgan and Ryan, a phenomenal Son-in-Law, Hamilton, and an amazing grandson.
Pastor Tiffany Tarrant Chandler
Tiffany was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She is a graduate of University of Houston Downtown with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Her passion for seeing youth live out their purpose through the teachings of Christianity helped her found the abstinence program Pure Life. Tiffany founded Pure Life in 2009. Beginning with seven students, the program has grown to matriculate over fifty students. Tiffany has been working in ministry at St. John’s United Methodist Church for over six years and is currently the Campus Lead Pastor.
In addition to her commitment to ministry, she has worked with underprivileged children who have been infected or affected with HIV at St. Johns Academy and Julia C Hester House, a historical community center in Fifth Ward. Although she enjoyed her work in the community, her true passion is teaching abstinence. She has made it her mission to teach, educate, and inspire young people to be all that God has called them to be.
Pastor Connie J. Jackson
The Rev. Connie Jackson or “Rev. CJ” as she is affectionately called is a global ministry leader and prolific communicator of the Gospel. As an ordained Baptist minister and former elected official, Jackson has lectured and preached for diverse audiences throughout North America, Europe, and Africa.
Rev. CJ is a trailblazer among women in the political arena. Mentored by the late U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, Jackson adopted Jordan’s passion for public service by dedicating herself to elected government service for two decades. She holds the distinction of being the first African American woman elected to a city council position in the 153-year history of Galveston County when she was elected to the City Council of Texas City, Texas. Jackson also served as chief of staff for the Dean of the Texas Senate, elections administrator for the Texas Democratic Party, and chief consultant for numerous, successful political campaigns.
Jackson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also a graduate of the Harvard Divinity School Leadership Certificate Program. Rev. Jackson is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.