John Blake is native to Durham and has been married for 43 years. He and his wife, Carolyn, have three children and three grandchildren. The couple currently resides in downtown Durham. John has degrees in Public Health, Community & Health Education, post-graduate studies in Human Performance Fitness, and Sports Medicine from East Carolina University and more recently (1998) a graduate of the CEF Children’s Ministries Institute®.
For John, there was always a burning desire to serve and he went into full-time Christian service with Child Evangelism Fellowship® of North Carolina in 1995. He currently serves as the Executive Director of CEF’s Durham Area Chapter in North Carolina. He is the founder of More Than Gold Sports Camps & Academies™ (renamed in 2020 to Camps for City Kids), HUB Church Partnerships™, Extra Good News™, and The Center of Light, which are urban initiatives designed to enhance the ministries of CEF North Carolina and local churches. In 2008, an urban mission boot camp for students was established along with a city-wide collaborative called the Durham Urban Net. Each of these programs stresses the importance of the “10 Keys of the Kingdom” for holistic community-based spiritual transformation.
John’s passion is to empower and free our friends in the city through the biblical gospel. He is also a contributing author on several projects in his past medical profession, author-creator of the “7 Most Important Things in the World“ (7MIT) and the City Kids column featured in Today’s Child™ and TeachKids!® magazines. John and his son, Sean Blake, released a gospel song for kids called the “7 MIT Song”. The rhythmic action song is based upon the “7 Most Important Things in the World“, created to communicate the simplicity and depth of the gospel to city kids.
John also developed and implemented sports medicine care and educational programs in Washington, DC and Durham, NC between 1977-1996 for elite, college, and high school student-athletes. He is not only the founder of More Than Gold Sports camps (mentioned above and now Camps for City Kids), but tennis academies, fitness boot camps and programs strengthening youth as well as adults of all ages.
John regularly posts his missions insights and ministry strategies on his personal blog site called: John Blake shares his “Heart for City Kids”