Bishop Jessie McClay was born on September 14, 1917 to the late Jessie McClay, Sr. and Frozella McClay-Johnson in New Port, Arkansas. He had two sisters Mildred McClay, Oval McClay, and one brother Willie-Moses McClay. Bishop McClay spent most of his childhood in Arkansas and years later, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri. After some time in Missouri, Bishop McClay gave his life to the Lord. Knowing that there was work assigned to his hands, he began to seek the lord as to where he should move and take up new residency. One night Bishop McClay had a dream and in the dream, he and his friends were down on the railroad tracks. They climbed up on top of the trains and began to run and jump from train to train laughing and joking around. The trains that bishop's friends were on top of stood still, while his train began to move. Bishop yelled to the conductor "Hey, where is this training going?" The Conductor yelled back, Philadelphia and at that moment, Bishop McClay knew that the lord had revealed to him that his next move was to Philadelphia.
In 1954, Bishop McClay moved from St. Louis to Philadelphia with 37,000 dollars in his pockets and a footlocker trunk. By this time, Bishop McClay was saved, filled with the spirit of God, and in the ministry. When he first moved to Philadelphia, he met Elder David Drummond. He began to work faithfully with Elder Drummond running revivals and preaching the Gospel under a tent. One night after a revival, Bishop met Laurine Hudson. When he saw her, he knew that he found his wife. Bishop McClay and Laurine Hudson were married on June 12, 1955. From this union there are six children: Ivan, Doreen, Jessie, Andrew, Laurie, and Paul and several years later, one adopted son, Warren; Seventeen grandchildren: Tamara, Artise, Dontise, Jatiya, Ash, Byron, Jessica, Shanikah, Zakkiiyyah, Justine, Brittany, Andrew, Devon, Michael, Arrione, Christopher, and Danielle, a host of great grandchildren, one son-in-law: Richard and three daughters-in-law: Mana, Patricia, and Capri. in January of 2012, Bishop McClay devoted wife, Mother Laurine McClay transitioned from labor to rewind and she was called home to be with to be with the lord. Bishop and mother McClay were married for 56 years, 6 months, and 25 days.
Bishop Jessie McClay was ordained under the late Bishop O.T Jones, Sr in the Church of God in Christ. Bishop McClay served the ministry faithfully and because of his faithfulness, he has held many positions in the Church of God in Christ including Pastor and District Superintendent. Bishop McClay was appointed to serve as Pastor of New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ and During that time age, owned and operated a Clothes Cleaners called Jessie and Sons. After his pastorate at New Jerusalem ended, the lord led Bishop McCLay to close the Cleaners and in 1967, he opened the doors of New Hope Church of Deliverance, Inc. The Lord spoke to Bishop McClay and said to him "You use to clean clothes, but now you're going to clean souls." Bishop McClay was an Evangelist who preached all over the city of Philadelphia. He was known for his brown van and his speakers on top of it. Bishop McCLay and the New Hope and has been pastoring the church for 54 years. Mother McClay worked close by his side as Co-Pastor. She would fast pray, preach the Gospel, and she was the overseer of the Women's Department.
The Lord blessed Bishop and Mother McClay and through the ministry of New Hope many souls have been saved, delivered, filled with the Holy Ghost and miracles performed. New Hope has birthed and produced Churches, Ministries, Pastors, Elders, Ministers, Evangelist, Decans, Deaconess, Missionaries, Musicians, Singers, Teachers, and Prophets. Bishop and Mother McClay had a Specials bond and relationship with Dr. Evelyn Graves and the Evelyn Graves Ministries Church and Drama Productions Bishop McClay was affectionately known and called the father of the ministry and was loved by them all. Bishop and Mother McCLay Respectively lived their lives as examples of holiness for men and women to pattern after and for married couples alike to let them know that no matter what, they too can make it.
Not only was Bishop McClay prminent in the Church, but in the Community as well. He has been a blessing to his neighbors, the community, local churches, and ministries in the area and afar by feeding the hungry, providing lunches for the children during the summer and providing free food and clothing for those in need during the thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.