Vincent Jones, Jr.

Vincent Jones, Jr.

Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church; Wallace Real Estate


Hometown: Nashville, TN

What is your vision for Knoxville 10 years from now?

Ten years from now, I would love to see the city continue to flourish into a place that empowers people to become the best version of themselves possible and to optimize their quality of life.

What is Knoxville’s Best Kept Secret?

Knoxville’s best kept secret is its people. Knoxville certainly has an emerging private sector, it is geographically located in an ideal location, and it has a lot to offer for those looking for a big city with a small-town feel. However, the people of Knoxville have a genuine concern for their neighbors, mixed with southern hospitality, and have a collective spirit of resilience.

What would you do to strengthen Knoxville?

To strengthen the city of Knoxville, I would help facilitate candid small group discussions from the four corners of the city to deconstruct the silos that we often exist in and broaden our collective perspective. I would focus on equitable economic development that will have a direct impact on education, healthcare, the homelessness crisis, and enhance the quality of life for all Knoxvillians. I would also push civil engagement across the city. We are better together. In order for us to become the best version of ourselves possible, we must activate our voices, articulate our agency, become involved and serve our fellow neighbors.

What is your favorite Knoxville memory?

That is a tough question, I have so many fond memories of growing up in Knoxville. One of my favorite memories of Knoxville has to do with a time that I was sitting in the sanctuary of Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in the Mechanicsville area after the benediction. I noticed that we had a lot of “strangers” in the church, and I asked my father (who served as pastor at the time) what was going on. People from all walks of life, from across the spectrum of hues from humanity gathered after church. He told me that we were going to have church outside. I had to have been in kindergarten at the time, so I viewed everything through the innocent lens of a child. I hoped we would be lucky enough to pass a playground on our fieldtrip outside the church. Years later, I discovered that people from across the city, (Mayor Testerman, John Duncan Jr. and a host of others that escapes my memory) came to participate in a Take Charge Walk to stand against violence in the community. I learned a valuable lesson at an early age. I did not run across any playgrounds on that excursion, but I learned what could happen when the community intentionally comes together to make a difference.

What is your favorite book or what book is currently on your nightstand?

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. This book enlightens and transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while offering solutions to America’s housing crisis.

What is the best advice you have received from a mentor, and who was that mentor?

“Brighten up the corner where you are” Rev. Dr. Vincent M. Jones Sr. LK’91

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

Be present, make the best of every moment, and be free enough to fail forward.

Vincent Jones, Jr.