I ‘Love My City’


ST. PETERSBURG – When you are the son of a Baptist preacher, your world is often surrounded by unrealistic expectations, perfection personified and the grand example of unselfish giving to the community. At times, it has the feeling of a heavy burden with defeat and other times the thrilling joy of victory. Does love have anything to do with it? Javon Hazley knows both sides of the coin.

Hazley is the son of Clark Hazley, senior pastor of Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church.  He was raised in a spiritual family under the leadership of his father and the guidance of his mother Gwendolyn Brown; he has become rooted in his local church and community.

Following in the footsteps of his family, he gained a love and passion for helping, inspiring, encouraging and supporting those in his inner city. From working with many different church choirs in the south St. Petersburg area to distributing toys and holiday trees with the YMCA Neighbor Christmas Program, he continues to give back to those who are less fortunate and has a deep love for his city.

Javon Hazley“My passion is to inspire others to use their gifts and talents, specifically through music,” he stated.

Hazley aims to encourage and motivate the youth to dream big and reach their individual goals. He also encourages adults to stand firm and continue to set a steady foundation for generations behind them. He also supports seniors emotionally, physically and mentally through community resources and services.

He is a gifted musician who has worked with multiple churches in the Tampa Bay area developing, coaching and teaching musicians and singers of all ages to achieve their musical goals. His mantle to inspire, encourage and support others is putting him in the company of many influential people.

Aside from music, Hazley is involved with other community events. His current venture is “Love My City,” an event hosted by Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church that aims to empower and provide outreach within the community.

“Our goal for the event is to grasp the families throughout our community with a simple gesture of invitation and by showing them the different types of resources that parents and children may not have known existed,” explained Hazley.

The purpose of Love My City is to celebrate our city’s culture and diversity by engaging communities and families in a positive family environment and to create an atmosphere of hope.

“Our mission is loving our city one person at a time.”

The Love My City activities will include a health and wellness area to inform the community of diverse programs such as Clothes to Kids, Health Department services and an on-site dental sealant program. It will also feature inflatable bounce houses, face painting, games, live music, food and more.

The inaugural Love Our City Festival will be held May 12 beginning at noon on the grounds of Mt. Pilgrim, 4000 5th Ave. S. For more information, contact Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church at (727) 321-7375.

To reach Dexter McCree, email dmccree@theweeklychallenger.com

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