Bishop was born on April 20, 1957 to Monroe and Elease McLaughlin. He attended the public schools of Jacksonville, Florida graduating from William M. Raines Senior High School. He was inducted into the Raines High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. He attended the University of Tampa on an athletic scholarship, and later transferred to the University of Tennessee majoring in psychology. He also has two earned theological degrees. He holds a Master’s and Doctorate Degreein Theology from North Florida Theological Seminary.
It was not until the age of 26 that Bishop McLaughlin made a personal profession of faith and submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In just a few months after his conversion he was called by God to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Bishop McLaughlin began preaching the gospel anywhere and everywhere there was someone who would listen. He began working with youth and was later staffed at the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church where he served the local body in any and every capacity imaginable. In 1987, at age 29, Bishop McLaughlin interimly pastored his first church in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Eleven months later, Bishop McLaughlin resigned to answer the call of God to pioneer a local church that would reflect the biblical pattern of a non-traditional and Kingdom focused ministry.
In 1988, he founded The Potter’s House Christian Fellowship. Starting with only about 40 members, today The Potter’s house is home to well over 5,000 members. Bishop McLaughlin reaches the masses through daily radio programs as well numerous outreach ministries. Bishop McLaughlin and The Potter’s House have been acknowledged and awarded by local, state and federal agencies for its outstanding and consistent work in the area of jails and prisons, nursing home and hospital ministry, food and clothing efforts and other innovative ways to reach those Christ came to save.
After years of mentoring other pastors and demonstrating a father’s heart, Bishop McLaughlin was consecrated into the office of bishop on March 6, 1999. In preparation for the office of Bishop, he submitted to the tutelage of the Joint College of Bishops and successfully completed the courses of study required for certification from the Joint College at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Bishop McLaughlin, through Covenant Fellowship International, is now covering for over 100 ministries and pastors around the globe. Churches have been birthed and reformed from the Caribbean to all of India. Covenant Fellowship India is now establishing new local churches and orphanages, training and equipping new preachers and leaders for the end time move of God.
Bishop McLaughlin is the founder and Chancellor of The Potter’s House Christian Academy. The Academy is a fully accredited education institution and has currently enrolled over 600 students from grades K-4 to 12th grade. The academy began in 1996 and had its first senior class graduation in 2005. The Potter’s House Christian Academy also set a standard during the accreditation process by becoming the first private school in the state of Florida to attain unanimous approval for accreditation without any recommendations for improvement on its first application. This honor speaks to the excellence in which Bishop McLaughlin and the school operates.
Bishop McLaughlin’s numerous accomplishments encompass both the secular and the spiritual realms. In 2001 he was the recipient of the ‘Entrepreneurial Excellence Award’ given by the Jim Moran’s Business Institute and Florida State University. Florida Trend Magazine and other business publications have featured his accomplishments and many come from near and far to receive counsel and insight in the art of combining business and church. The prestigious Jim Moran award was given to acknowledge the innovative and creative model of economic empowerment that’s known as The Potter’s House Multiplex. The Multiplex housed a multitude of church owned and operated businesses (The Potter’s House CafÃ©, Angel’s Hair Salon, The Potter’s House Bookstore, The Potter’s House Federal Credit Union, The Potter’s House Recording Studio, The Potter’s House Dance Studio, The Potter’s House Game Room, Graphic Design Studio, Law Offices, Greyhound Bus terminal, a travel agency, limo Service, financial services and Jim Tatum’s Men’s Clothing). Many other member owned stores were incubated and housed in The Potter’s House Multiplex. The Multiplex has been a draw and model of ministry for both church and secular groups worldwide. This 42,000 square feet structure was designed to spawn Christian businesses and foster economic synergy within the church and community.
The elementary school portion of the Academy is also located in the Multiplex. On the same grounds of the Multiplex is a fully operable day care, staff housing and an outdoor basketball facility that seats over 600 spectators with state of the art basketball courts known as the Black Top. Hundreds of youth and adults are taught the game of basketball and life skills through workshops and camps year round. PSAT and ACT training is offered year round.
In 2002, Bishop McLaughlin led The Potter’s House in the purchase of the first fully enclosed shopping mall in Jacksonville’s history. A 414,000 square foot facility sitting on 48 acres of property now valued at over 40 million dollars was purchased by The Potter’s House for 4 million dollars. Approximately 130,000 square feet of the mall, a former Sam’s Wholesale building is now home to the main auditorium and church facilities which include a 4,000 plus seat sanctuary, a 1,000 seat children’s church, a 150 seat wedding chapel, a 12,000 square foot nursery with two indoor playgrounds, a teen restaurant called the Rock Cafe, Java Rock Coffee Shop, a state of the art recording studio, beautiful administrative offices, a lecture hall, conference rooms and much more. The purchase and renovation of this mall, formerly the Normandy Mall, now called Kingdom Plaza at Normandy Mall, has brought national attention and recognition from news media of every form and has taken Bishop McLaughlin around the world via several international appearances on The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Black Entertainment Television (BET) and DayStar television just to name a few.
In January of 2007, construction of the mall continued with 177,000 square foot renovated and opened with The Potter’s House Soul Food Bistro, which seats close to 300 diners and has become one of the most popular eateries in all of Jacksonville. The Bistro has received outstanding reviews from local and national food critics and has been featured in all local publications as the best soul food in town and in the nation. Also housed in the Kingdom Plaza is a state of the art 15,000 square foot fitness center called Temple Builders. A million dollar facility equipped with cardio theatre, an aerobics suite, a lap swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam rooms, spas and the latest top of the line Precor and Hammer Strength exercise equipment. Following the opening of these two businesses was the official Grand Opening of the mall. The remainder of the stores opened which included King Pins Bowling Center that offered a 22-lane state of the art Cosmic Bowling alley with a huge game room and a pro bowl shop. Other shops within the mall include a jewelry store, medical service supply, urban clothing, bridal shop and tuxedo rental, a full daycare center, florist, Eden Spas and Salon, a health food store, Mac Tech Pro computer services, Music Depot music store and install, cellular services, furniture store, Job Corp headquarters, a video production studio, barber shop, insurance company and much, much more.
Bishop McLaughlin’s anointed and skillful exegetical handling of the Scriptures, along with his personal and ‘down to earth’ approach to the Gospel has drawn followers locally, throughout the U.S. and abroad. Bishop McLaughlin travels the world sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Over 3000 recorded messages are available through The Potter’s House audio/video ministry of Bishop McLaughlin’s powerful preaching. The nation’s leading Christian Magazines have all featured his accomplishments and the ministry as cover stories. He’s graced the covers of Charisma Magazine, Ministries Today, Leadership Journal, Church Executive Magazine, Gospel Today and has even been featured in the Wall Street Journal and many other periodicals.
Bishop McLaughlin serves and has served on various boards and committees:
- Co-chair of the Jacksonville Pastors and Christian Leaders Fellowship
- Vice-Chairman of Kingdom Fellowship Marketplace Ministries
- Board member of Bank of America, Community Development Division
- President of West Campus Logos Christian College
- Founder of The Potter’s House Bible College
- Founder and Chancellor of The Potter’s House Christian Academy
- Board member of ACT Television Station
- Chapel Speaker for Jacksonville Jaguars and numerous other NFL Teams
- Promise Keeper Speaker
- Chairman of the Board of Impact House, a rehabilitation center for teen felons
- Board Member of Prisoners of Christ Ministries
- Consultant and motivational speaker for various marketplace ministries
- Chairman of the Board of MADDADS
- And many more
Bishop McLaughlin’s duties are far reaching and more than what has been listed here. He lists his greatest of all accomplishments as being happily married to Narlene Jackson, his college sweetheart for 33 years. His wife assists him in the ministry as the church, mall and school administrator. They minister together at conferences and workshops and serve as a model couple to pastors and ministry leaders around the world. They have two children, Angel Narlene and Stephen Vaughn.