Son of the late Coleen M. Richardson and J.P. Harris, Sr., Father Harris was born in 1954 in Sumter, S.C. and raised by godly parents in the Southern Baptist Church. Father Harris volunteered for military service in 1975, completed basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, and received an advanced language Diploma in Turkish at the Defense Language Institute, Monterrey, California before his deployment to various posts in the Middle East from 1976-1979. Father Harris obtained B.A. degrees in History and Mathematics at Baylor University, was awarded a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities to the University of Chicago, where he obtained a M.A. in Historical Theology under the direction of the late Prof. Dr. Eric Cochrane, and a Ph.D. cand. in Historical Theology under the direction of Prof. Dr. Brian Gerrish, John Nuveen Professor Emeritus in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and Distinguished Service Professor of Theology Seminary.
Converting to Catholicism on June 1, 1984, Father Harris petitioned the Archdiocese of Atlanta, and was sent to St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary-Boynton Beach in 1987 by the late Archbishop Thomas Donnellan, who died that same year. Father Harris earned a M.Div. and a M.A. in Historical Theology under the direction of Prof. Dr. Sixto Garcia, Professor of Systematic Theology. Accepted for the Diocese of Palm Beach by Bishop Thomas Voss Daily, he was ordained priest in 1991 and has served as Parochial Vicar at St. Luke-Lake Worth, St. Rita-Wellington and St. Jude-Tequesta, Parochial Administrator of St. Anastasia-Ft. Pierce and president of John Carroll High School and currently Pastor of St. Thomas More-Boynton Beach since July 1, 2002.
Father Harris brings a unique blend of Baptist Preaching to the Catholic Faith and the Roman Catholic Church.