Acclaimed by Ministries Today as “America’s Number One Youth Pastor,” Jeanne Mayo has thrown her heart and passion into youth ministry for over four decades. Her ministry DNA is reflected in her life mission statement: “The motivation and mentorship of Kamikaze Christianity into practicing and potential Kingdom champions.”
The years have seen incredible results. In Nebraska, she multiplied a group of a few dozen students into hundreds. While there, she assisted one of her students in filing a suit against a local public high school. That suit ultimately led to the 1984 Supreme Court decision to allow students to host Bible Clubs on public school campuses.
Then in Illinois, she was met by a group of 30 students that grew to nearly 1,000 and a Christian school that she led from 800 to 1,400 students. While in California, she had the privilege of developing a group of 90 students into over 500 in only one year’s time. Currently, she is leading an incredible team in the Atlanta area where amazing growth is happening once again.
Jeanne’s successful ministry has placed her in high demand as a youth ministry and youth leadership communicator. She has criss-crossed the U.S. and the globe, speaking in countless venues to teenagers and college students as well as their leaders. As she continues to travel, one of her greatest joys is to re-connect with some of the hundreds of spiritual sons and daughters in full-time ministry all over the world.
In recent years, Jeanne founded Youth Leader’s Coach, a non-profit organization that seeks “to instruct, equip, inspire and encourage the youth pastors and youth leaders of this generation.” Through this venue, she has begun a coaching/mentoring avenue called “The Cadre.” Over 1,000 of the nation’s premiere youth ministries and churches have now experienced this intensive year of personal mentoring from Jeanne. Several years ago, Jeanne also launched “The Alliance” which is over 300 leadership training hubs all over the nation and Canada. Each Alliance is hosted by one of her “Cadre” graduates and is designed to equip the facilitator to create a network of youth pastors in their area.
In response to Jeanne’s achievements in youth and young adult ministry, both Oral Roberts University and West Coast Bible College and Seminary awarded her a Doctorate of Divinity. As another extension of her leadership influence, Jeanne also sponsors her National Youth Leaders’ Conference. This widely acclaimed event has become one of the largest gatherings of its kind, drawing thousands of youth pastors and leaders in 2003, 2005, 2009, 2012 and 2015. These are transformational events for thousands of youth pastors and leaders from around the globe.
In 2013, Jeanne was awarded the Lifetime Influence Award from the National Assemblies of God, the world’s largest denomination with 66 million members and adherents. In 2015, she was featured once again as the cover story in “Ministries Today” magazine. In that feature article, Jeanne was once again heralded as the nation’s premiere voice in the training and raising up of youth leaders across our nation and in the world at large.
Publishing has also continued to be one of Jeanne’s focuses. She is a regular columnist for Group Magazine and Ministries Today. She authored the popular leadership book, Thriving Youth Groups, as well as Uncensored: Dating, Friendship and Sex and the second book in the series, Uncensored: Finding God When He Feels Far Away. Her fourth book, JEANNEisms: Short Sentences That Echo Loud Meaning has also met with wide acclaim.
Jeanne found her way to the cross as a young teenage woman. After college, she married her “hero,” Pastor Sam Mayo, who has been the Senior Pastor at most places she served. She now serves on staff at Victory World Church in the Atlanta area. It is a thriving local church of over 15,000 people where Jeanne serves as Director Of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. It is also now Jeanne’s privilege to care for her husband and hero, Pastor Sam Mayo. In 2015, he suffered a tragic and life-altering stroke which ushered him into a serious form of dementia called “Lewy Body Dementia.” It is now Jeanne’s high privilege to care for him at home (with the help of another amazing caregiver when Jeanne is at work or away ministering). She continues to believe the Lord for a miracle of healing for her treasured husband. But in the mean time, she is determined to model to this generation’s young emerging leaders what “Till death do us part” really looks like.
Jeanne continues to believe that her most cherished accolades are her family. She is the proud mom of two adult sons, Josh and Justin, who are both also in full-time ministry and the adoring “Nana” of two young grandsons, Elijah and Judah. Her cherished husband remains her “boyfriend and hero” after over 45 years of marriage and ministry together.
Jeanne’s life mantra comes from missionary Jim Elliot. His words capture the essence of her heart and life’s mission:
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”