Jay and Laureen Held

United States

Service Area: City

Ministry Focus

Missions Door appointed Jay in 1992 for urban ministry, as he and Laureen answered a call from the pastor of an African-American church to strengthen that inner-city church.

After Jay earned his Master of Divinity at Western Seminary in 1994, the Helds began facilitating spiritual renewal that led a struggling lower socio-economic, inner-city church to reinvent itself as a strong, growing, multiethnic congregation.

In 2002 they began serving on a core team to develop a new church, targeting the urban, upper-middle class of northeast Portland.

In June 2003, Jay began serving Missions Door as an Urban Specialist in the Northwest. Jay and Laureen love Jesus Christ, the city, and the urban church. They live to declare and display the glory of God in Portland, the Northwest, and all the rest.

Faith Story

Jay began following Christ just before his senior year of high school. As a freshman at Baptist University of America in Atlanta, Georgia, he answered God’s call to missions. While in Bible College he led a weekly outreach to 250-300 inner-city teenagers and their parents for nearly four years. This outreach founded Decatur Baptist Church.

While Jay was attending Western Seminary he met Laureen Allen, who grew up in a Christian home and accepted Christ at an early age. After their marriage, they moved into the inner city of Portland and served with a core team to develop a new urban church, North Portland Bible Fellowship.


Jay married Laureen in 1988 and they have four children: Joy, Joel, Jonathan and Jean.


Jay: M.A. in Missions, M.A. in Counseling and M.Div.
Laureen: M.A. in Counseling