A young James shares his insights with a forgotten man on Skid Row


“He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.”

Jordan’s speaking career had its auspicious beginnings in 1961, at the corner of East Fifth Street and Towne Avenue in the City of Angels infamous Skid Row District. The stench of alcohol was strong, as hungry parishioners waited for the service to begin; the rescue mission was a popular venue, filled to capacity with an anxious crowd, curious to hear the three-year old James (Fred Jr.) deliver his first sermon. An introduction from the internationally known evangelist and television pastor (The Reverend Fred Jordan) made quite a fuss over the young man, who wanted a chance to be like his dad. As James took the stage, he eyed the weary faces, forlorn and full of despair. He started, “Men, I once lived a life of sin, but I turned from my wicked ways”. No one said a word, until slowly a chuckle came from the forgotten men, hardened by life’s cruelty. I think everyone got a kick out of that!

A lifetime has passed since that first speech on Skid Row, and childhood innocence. The young boy grew to become the prodigal, who in time became a man. Today Jordan speaks first-hand about finding meaning and purpose in business and private life. His real world experience, energized insights, and youthful enthusiasm, passionately inform his audience with a view toward what is possible.