Elder Vincent Lamont Harris, Sr. was born December7,1958, in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was the youngest son of Warren Jerry Harris, Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth (Bernice) Harris. His parents were founding members of Sanders Temple, Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Elder James L. Sanders and Mother Ida Mae Sanders.
He was educated in the Indianapolis Public School system and graduated from Arlington High School. He continued his education at IUPUI and Butler University.
Elder Harris married Geneva “Jenny” Brown and to that union, two children were born. He was a giant to his wife and family. He was proud of his children, but his relationship with his grandchildren was on another level. His grandbabies, McKenzie Harris, Paisley Murphy and Landon Harris, who affectionately called him Dad, were always his priority. He covered his family with love; through him, they saw God’s heart. They love him dearly and were blessed to share him with many others.
He was employed at Lavenia & Summers Home for Funerals for many years where he was affectionally known as Elder. Elder loved ministering to families and enjoyed the time spent with his work family. In his earlier years, he taught grade school and music classes. He retired from IUPUI after 20 years of service but continued to work in the music ministry and the funeral home.
He was a member of Sanders Temple, Church of God in Christ for 59 years, under the leadership of Pastor James L. Sanders and Pastor John C. Davis, III. Elder Harris accepted his call into the ministry in 1980. He served in several capacities, including YPWW President of J. L. Sanders Memorial district, President of the Sanders Temple Ministers Alliance, and Leader of the Together with Christ Marriage ministry. Through his leadership, during youth YPWW classes and 5:30pm prayer services, he led many young people to Christ. In recent years, Elder Harris was under the leadership of Pastor Percy White, Family Worship Center, Church of God in Christ. For the past 4 years, Elder Harris enjoyed being Music Pastor at The Bridge Church, under the leadership of Pastor Jerry McCamey. Elder Harris loved God, the church and ministry.
Music has always been an integral part of Elder Harris’ life. He has been singing and rendering concerts since the age of four. Many times, he would stand on a table to be seen and was introduced as Master Vincent Harris. During his early life, he was under the tutelage of the legendary, Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. He has accompanied many gospel-recording artists such as Reverend Timothy Wright, Dr. Dorinda Clark Cole, Fred Hammond, Dr. Iris Stevenson, Donnie McClurkin, Dr. Judith Christie McAllister, Shirley Caesar and Douglas Miller.
Elder Harris became the local Minister of Music at Sanders Temple when he was16 years old and served in that capacity for over 40 years. He served as District Minister of Music for the James L. Sanders Memorial District for many years under the leadership of Superintendent James R. Darty. He also worked with the International Church of God in Christ as Assistant Director of the Children’s Ministry for many years. Elder Harris served as the Vice President of the Midwest Regional Music Department (8years) under the leadership of Superintendent Edgar (Petey) Madison, Jr. He has been the Jurisdictional Minister of Music for the Indiana 2nd Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction (25years) under the leadership of Bishop B. A. Sanders. Elder Harris served as the Minister of Music (7years) and Youth Department director (5years) for the Puerto Rico Jurisdiction under the leadership of Bishop Elton Amos. The ministry work in Puerto Rico was very important to him. Elder Harris was honored and received a 2017 Indianapolis Legends Award for his 40+ years of dedication to music ministry.
He loved to travel, especially to Florida to visit his granddaughters and go to the beach. He spent so much time in Florida the past few years, many in Indianapolis often asked him when he would be back home to visit. Elder Harris was one of a kind. He knew all the names of his teachers and remained in contact with many of them. He encouraged continual learning and often it came at the expense of his children. He never hesitated to encourage them to learn something whether they were interested or not. During a trip to Holiday World, he had them stop and read all the signs at the front gate, detailing the history of the park. Vince and Liz said, “Dad, we want to go to the rides.” With a big grin on his face, he said, “we will after we finish reading about the park.” When he rode past churches in the city, he always shared any historical facts whether his family wanted to hear it or not. Another pastime of Elder Harris was calling his family and friends and keeping up mischief. He enjoyed the back-and-forth banter, laughing and joking with those close to him. Elder Harris loved calling and teasing his sister. Frequently, he would chat with his nephew, Warren (Alicia) Harris, III (Pedro), nieces, Yvonne Renee Spight (Angel) and LaTonya Renee Harris who saw him as a father figure. He cherished them dearly and was an integral part of their upbringing. Elder Harris also loved chatting and cavorting regularly with his Godson, Mark Elmore, cousin Elder Kevin B. Beamon and friend, Jason Jones.
He was our hero and prayer warrior. Our hearts are broken, and we are forever changed. “There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in our hearts. –Mahatma Gandhi
Elder Harris is preceded in death by his father, mother and brother, Warren “Baldie” Harris, II.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Geneva “Jenny” Harris; son, Vincent (Dea) Harris, II; daughter, Elizabeth (Isaiah) Harris-Murphy; sister, Ida Yvonne Harris (Fritz);sister-in-law, Brenda (John)Harrison and a host of other relatives and friends.