About Jacksonville Urban

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Message from Sam Coleman,
Urban Area Director

As a native of Jacksonville, I have deep love and passion for my city.  When I came on staff with Young Life 11 years ago, I believe it was the pathway to a calling back to the neighborhood in which I grew up.

Like Nehemiah, whose heart longed to help rebuild the burned down wall of Jerusalem, I've had a burden to re-enter my old stomping grounds and bring a message of hope to hurting and underprivileged teenagers.  Young Life has been the vehicle God has used to allow me the great opportunity to reach kids of color, poor kids and the under-resourced with a message of hope and the unfailing love of God who has a wonderful plan for our lives.

I've been tremendously blessed with 33 years of marriage to my beautiful wife and Andrew Jackson High School sweetheart, Valerie, our two daughters, and four grandchildren.  We continue to believe the Lord has ordained us for the mission of Young Life and look forward to seeing more and more kids of color from the urban core of Jacksonville come to the feet of Jesus, as we fulfill the great commission to "GO"!

What Does Young Life/WyldLife Do?

Contact Work

Because teenagers don't care how much you know until they know how much you care, Young Life leaders show they care by going where teenagers are, meeting them as they are, believing in who they can be.  Within Young Life we call the persistent going into the world of teenagers "contact work", but teenagers just call it friendship.


We like to think of club as a "party with a purpose".  It's controlled chaos that's almost impossible to describe, but teenagers know it when they see it.  And before the party ends, we share a simple message about God's love for them.  After all, that's what the celebration is all about.


Teenagers consistently tell us that Young Life camp is "the best week of their lives."  How else would you describe a week where deep relationships are forged in the midst of mind-boggling fun and a place where you hear the greatest love story ever told?


Campaigners is a weekly gathering for teenagers who wish to learn more or grow in their faith through study, service and leadership.  We're with teenagers for the long haul to help them take the first steps of faith with unconditional love.  Along the way, we encourage teenagers to celebrate their faith through participation in a local congregation.



Young Life Northwest Jacksonville | PO Box 2173 Jacksonville, FL 32203-2173

Phone: (904) 387-9633

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