Real faith, real love, and real talk; a journey of hope with Pastor Phil Jackson.   

Who is Phil Jackson?

Veteran Youth Pastor and CHH community advocate, Phil Jackson opens up about growing up biracial and the importance of tangible faith. 

Pastor Phil has been at the forefront of the CHH community for years working with youth to spread the love of Christ. On this episode COTB producer Colleen interviews host, Pastor Phil Jackson of The Firehouse Community Arts Center to discuss his violence intervention and interruption programs and its impact on the Lawndale, Greater Chicago community.  

Pastor Phil who grew up in the projects in Kansas City, was raised by his interracial parents.  “Mom was white.  Dad was black.  In the 60s, my mom and dad couldn’t get married in Missouri, they had to get married in Kansas [state].  I was born in a hospital in Kansas because they were nervous in a Missouri hospital it would be a situation.”

Despite living in the projects Pastor Phil attended an all-white Catholic high school.  “I learned a lot.  Confronted with a lot of different racial situations as the only black kid in that school for 4 years,” he explains.  As an African American or even Afro-Latina, a person who identifies as black, there’s often a feeling of inadequacy that stems from years of racist laws and propaganda.    

“That came about while I’m going to this all-white Catholic High School, “the Chicago pastor admits.  Early on in his street ministry, those same feelings resurfaced while he was fundraising.  “Sometimes I had to fight thru that.  Folks may not even think about how they’re functioning.  Our cultural norms are in such a way it comes across as where they shooting shots at me because of the way they said that?”

Today, Pastor Phil has learned to accept himself, “I’m older.  So, it is what it is.  There are some things I feel I can say and do and not feel like folks don’t get it.  What I’ve found is that when I do come boldly with it.  That’s not right.  This is bogus.  Often time with the right people there’s a welcoming of that discussion.  It’s not as intimidating as I thought it would be.” 

Instead of “tiptoeing” around these issues, we can have a real conversation that produces real fruit. 

Pastor Phil’s labor of love

Church on the Block ain’t the youth minister’s first rodeo.   “I was on the radio in Kansas City because of our efforts to have young people have a touchable faith.  I said to this radio station will you give us a show where we can have a voice that young people can say this is what we’re about.  And they gave us 2 hours.”

Similar to Teen Summit, Pastor Phil’s radio show gave young people the chance to have real conversations about the situations they face.  From parental issues, and dating issues to their relationship with God.  “I wanted young people to be exposed to their own power and their own voice.  While they were hearing their own peer’s voice, they [the youth] can say I can do this.” 

They even created the Youth Alternative Coalition with youth across Kansas City and threw CHH concerts partnering with the radio station.  The transformation was happening in the young people’s lives. 

At the heart of it, Pastor Phil wants to show young people tangible faith.  Point them in the direction of the living God and show them the love of the resurrected Jesus. 

With programs like Project Presence, Spark Arts, and Pastor Phils Firehouse Community Arts Center has reached and impacted the lives of thousands of young people in the community over the last 15 years.  The mission is to interrupt the cycle of violence among youth and young adults of the greater Chicagoland area.  Their motto; more contact, more impact.  Hopefulness and resiliency. 

To find out more about Pastors Phil’s ministry and work visit  And remember to catch him, along with his co-hosts Pastah J and DJ Ruckus for Church on the Block every Sunday morning at 10 am EST. | 9 am CST.  on Holy Culture Radio, Sirius XM, Channel 154

Faith, love and hope with youth pastor Phil Jackson
Faith, love and hope with youth pastor and community advocate Pastor Phil