Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin
Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin was born on April 20, 1957 to Monroe and Elease McLaughlin. He attended the public schools of Jacksonville, Florida graduating from William M. Raines Senior High School. He attended the University of Tampa on an athletic scholarship, and later transferred to the University of Tennessee to play basketball, majoring in psychology. He holds a Master’s and Doctorate Degree in Theology from North Florida Theological Seminary and Jacksonville Baptist Theological.
At age 25, Bishop McLaughlin made a personal profession of faith and submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In just a few months after his conversion he began preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ anywhere and everywhere there was someone who would listen. He worked with several outreach ministries to youth and the homeless and was eventually staffed at the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church where he served the local body in any and every capacity imaginable. In 1987, at 29 years of age, Bishop McLaughlin accepted the pastorate of his first church in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Eleven months later, Bishop McLaughlin answered the call of God to pioneer a local church that would exemplify the biblical pattern of a non-traditional and Kingdom focused ministry.
In 1988, he founded The Potter’s House Christian Fellowship. Today, The Potter’s House is home to over 5,000 members after starting with approximately 40 members. Over the years, Bishop McLaughlin and The Potter’s House ministry have been acknowledged and awarded by local, state and federal agencies for its outstanding and consistent work in the area of jails and prisons, nursing homes, hospital ministry and food and clothing efforts.
After years of mentoring other pastors and demonstrating a father’s heart, was consecrated into the office of bishop on March 6, 1999. In preparation for the office of bishop, he submitted to the tutelage of the Joint College of Bishops and successfully completed the courses of study required by the Joint College at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Bishop McLaughlin, through Covenant Fellowship International, now provides covering for over 100 ministries and pastors around the globe. Churches have been birthed and reformed from the Caribbean to Africa and all of India.
Bishop McLaughlin is the founder and Chancellor of The Potter’s House Christian Academy. The Academy is a fully accredited institution of academia and currently has enrolled over 600 students from grades K-4 to 12th grade. The academy began in 1996 and had its first graduating senior class in 2005. During the accreditation process, The Potter’s House Christian Academy set a standard by becoming the first private school in the state of Florida to attain unanimous approval for accreditation without any recommendations for improvement on its first application. This honor speaks to the excellence in which Bishop McLaughlin and the school operates. Graduates of the Academy have matriculated through major universities all over the United States. Schools the likes of University of North Carolina, University of Notre Dame, University of Florida, Florida State University, Rutgers, Air Force Academy, University of South Florida, St. Francis University, Florida A&M, just to name a few.
Bishop McLaughlin’s numerous accomplishments encompass both the secular and the spiritual realms. In 2001 he was the recipient of the ‘Entrepreneurial Excellence Award’ given by the Jim Moran’s Business Institute and Florida State University. This prestigious award was given to acknowledge the innovative and creative model of economic empowerment that was known as The Potter’s House Multiplex. The Multiplex housed a multitude of church owned and operated businesses (The Potter’s House Café, Angel’s Hair Salon, The Potter’s House Bookstore, The Potter’s House Federal Credit Union, The Potter’s House Recording Studio, The Potter’s House Dance Studio, The Potter’s House Game Room, Graphic Design Studio, Law Offices, Greyhound Bus terminal, a travel agency, limo Service, financial services and Jim Tatum’s Men’s Clothing). Many other member owned stores were also incubated and housed in The Potter’s House Multiplex. The Multiplex has been a draw and model of ministry for both church and secular groups worldwide. The 42,000 square feet structure was designed to spawn Christian businesses and foster economic synergy within the church and community.
In 2002, after successfully mastering the concept of church and the marketplace, Bishop McLaughlin led The Potter’s House in the purchase of the first fully enclosed shopping mall in Jacksonville’s history. It was a 414,000 square foot facility formerly known as the Normandy Mall. It has been sitting vacant for over 16 years. 48 acres of property purchased for 4 million dollars and now valued at over 40 million dollars. Approximately 150,000 square feet of the mall, a former Sam’s Wholesale building is now home to the main auditorium and church facilities which include a nearly 4,000 seat sanctuary, a 800 seat children’s church, a 150 seat wedding chapel, a 13,000 square foot nursery with a indoor playground, a teen restaurant called the Rock Café. There is also, Java Rock Coffee Shop, a state of the art recording studio, beautiful administrative offices, a lecture hall, conference rooms and much more. The purchase and renovation of this mall, formerly the Normandy Mall, now called Kingdom Plaza at Normandy Mall, has brought national attention and recognition from news media of every form and has taken Bishop McLaughlin around the world via several international appearances on The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Black Entertainment Television (BET) and DayStar television just to name a few.
The nation’s leading Christian Magazines have all featured his accomplishments and the ministry as cover stories. He’s graced the covers of Charisma Magazine, Ministries Today, Leadership Journal, Church Executive Magazine, Leadership Network, Christianity Today, several other smaller publications, many local newspapers and has even been featured in the Wall Street Journal and other finance publications.
In January of 2007, another 177,000 square foot of the mall was opened with The Potter’s House Soul Food Bistro and Temple Builders Fitness Center. The Bistro which seats close to 300 has become one of the most popular eateries in all of Florida. The Bistro has received outstanding reviews from local and national food critics and has been featured in all local periodicals as the best soul food in town. In October of 2012, the renowned Bistro ranked number three on Urbanspoon’s list of “America’s 100 Most Popular Cheap Eats”. Restaurants from sixty-one metropolitan areas across 27 states were represented in the list. In 2015 it also tied for first at the “Hoodie Awards” for best Soul-Food in the nation.
Temple Builders is a 15,000 square foot fitness center equipped with swimming pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and state of the art equipment. Following the opening of these two businesses was the official Grand Opening of the mall. The remainder of the stores opened which included King Pins Bowling Center, which offers a 22-lane state of the art Cosmic Bowling alley with a huge game room and a pro bowl shop. Other shops within the mall include a jewelry store, medical service supply, urban clothing, bridal shop and tuxedo rental, a full daycare center, florist, Eden Spas and Salon, a health food store, cellular services, furniture store, Job Corp headquarters, a video production studio, barber shop, insurance company and much, much more. The Mall has been tabbed as the epicenter of the Normandy Village area of Jacksonville and the community is designated for upgrades and improvements that will make this section of Jacksonville a much more desirable area to visit.
Bishop McLaughlin’s anointed and skillful exegetical handling of the Scriptures, along with his personal and ‘down to earth’ approach to the Gospel has drawn followers locally, throughout the U.S. and abroad. Thousands of people have come to Christ through his ministry. Bishop McLaughlin travels the world sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Over 6000 recorded messages are available through The Potter’s House audio/video ministry of Bishop McLaughlin’s powerful preaching.
Bishop McLaughlin serves and has served on various boards and committees:
- Founder and Pastor of the Potter’s House International Ministries
- Founder and Chancellor of The Potter’s House Christian Academy
- Co-chair for City of Jacksonville Mayor’s Office Strategic Initiative Team
- Co-chair of the Jacksonville Pastors and Christian Leaders Fellowship
- Vice-Chairman of Kingdom Fellowship Marketplace Ministries
- Co-Chair of Lifework Leadership of Jacksonville
- Board member of Bank of America, Community Development Division
- President of West Campus Logos Christian College
- Founder of The Potter’s House Bible College
- Chapel Speaker for Jacksonville Jaguars and numerous other NFL Teams
- Promise Keeper Speaker
- Former Chairman of the Board of Impact House, a rehabilitation center for teen felons
- Board Member of Prisoners of Christ Ministries
- Consultant and motivational speaker for various marketplace ministries
- Chairman of the Board of MADDADS
- And many more
Bishop McLaughlin’s duties are far reaching. He lists his greatest of all accomplishments as being happily married to Narlene Jackson, his college sweetheart for 38 years. Lady Narlene as she is affectionately called, assists him in all aspects of the ministry as the church and mall’s Chief Administrative Officer. They also minister together at conferences and workshops and serve as a model couple to pastors and ministry leaders around the world. They have two adult children, Angel Narlene who serves as Director of Innovations and Strategies for the Ministry and Stephen Vaughn McLaughlin who serves as the head basketball coach for the Academies High School.