Current Update — June 27, 2023: In July 2021, during CEF summer ministries and our Camps for City Kids, I suffered multiple seizures. This took place twice in the space of two weeks with separate visits to the hospital. On September 17, 2021, a team of Duke Neurologist, removed a brain tumor for which I am currently recovering, and proceeded with followup treatment at the Duke Cancer Center in October 2021. See more information and updates about John’s health journey, his family, and CEF of Durham during this challenge: my blog site johneblake.blog
John Blake is native to Durham and has been married for 47 years. He and his wife, Carolyn, have three children and four 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 (1977), and also a (1998) graduate of the CEF Children’s Ministries Institute®.
For John, he had a burning desire to serve the Lord and was seeking somewhere to do more than minister in a local church. After much prayer and God’s guidance, he went into full-time Christian service with Child Evangelism Fellowship® of North Carolina in 1995. John currently serves as the Executive Director of CEF’s Durham Area Chapter in North Carolina. He founded More Than Gold Sports Camps in 1996 and then Camps for City Kids and Academies™ (renamed in 2020 to Camps for City Kids), as well as 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 stress the importance of the “10 Keys of the Kingdom” for holistic community-based spiritual transformation. This was formed as a collection of ministries, which collaborate around the sectors of the city and specifically target city kids was founded in 2011. PrayDurham was formed to seeks to cover the streets and strategic sectors of our city with prayer through a collaborative of churches, individuals, and intercessory prayer groups. This site is a venue for encouragement, motivation, and a challenge to the Church in Durham to fulfill the Law of Christ, to bless our city with Godly peace and mercy, to pray and serve with our city — not merely for our city. We follow the teaching of Jesus for engaging our city through Prayer Evangelism.
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), 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”