Jay grew up in Georgetown, Texas where his dad was a rancher and businessman. He committed his life to Christ and by age 16 sensed the Lord's call to use his gifts to build God’s Kingdom. He attended Baylor University, New Orleans Seminary and his doctorate is from Southern Seminary in Kentucky. Jay and Mary Ruth have been blessed with four children. He came to First Baptist Montgomery initially in 1981 as the Associate Pastor. From 1984-1991 he served as the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Alexandria, Virginia. Jay came to be the senior pastor of FBC Montgomery in 1991.