|Tracy Jennings, Pastor|
Tracy’s sense of civic duty led him to join the United States Army shortly after graduating from high school. His permanent party duty station was the 101st Airborne Division Fort Campbell, KY. Tracy was assigned to the 5th of the 101st Aviation Unit, where he was a Petroleum Supply Specialist and served 3 years active duty from 1986-1989.
While on active duty, being deployed to Davis Airfield, Oklahoma and Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, the Secretary of the Army awarded Tracy the Army Achievement Medal. This honor was awarded to Private First-Class Tracy Jennings for his ability to motivate and lead within the 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment of the United States Army.
Upon leaving active military duty, Tracy transitioned into the corporate sector. There, Tracy was extremely successful, working his way through two Fortune 500 companies into middle management. Over his 13-year career in the telecommunication industry, he was a two-time recipient of Tellabs Manager of The Year Award and credited with reviving a failing cable television system in the western suburbs of Chicago when he worked for Telecommunication Incorporated.
Passionate about being a self-starter and innovator, Tracy took a leap of faith. In 2003, he left a lucrative corporate organization and started his own real estate appraisal company, specializing in single-family dwellings and multi-unit buildings. Between 2003-2009, he appraised thousands of residential properties in Northern Illinois and the Chicagoland area. Tracy’s knowledge and ability to identify key factors that determine property value will not only help communities maximize the full potential of their properties but help enhance the quality of living within their communities.
Man of Faith
Tracy credits his success and who he is as a person to many things. However, he recognizes that he would not be where he is or who he is without being a man of great spiritual faith. Tracy was ordained as a minister in 2001. In 2003, he became the founding Pastor of Total Christian Life Ministry, a non-denominational, Christian faith-based church located in Joliet, Illinois. In addition, Tracy greatly credits his father, the late Pastor U.T. Jennings who was also a founding Pastor, for guiding his early spiritual life and setting a first-class example of what a true servant leadershould be.
Upon the purchase of their church building in the Fall of 2008, Tracy took a thorough assessment of the overall condition of the community and found it lacking in many essential services. Shortly thereafter, Tracy spoke to the Township Supervisor about the lack of services in the church’s immediate area. After months of meetings, it was determined by township officials that this particular area had always been that way and nothing would be changed.
A firm believer that even one person can make a difference, Tracy led a protest against Joliet Township in the Spring of 2009. The theme was “Equal Treatment for All in Joliet Township.” The protest was a resounding success!
Some example of changes put in place were:
- 22 stop signs being installed
- five uninhabitable homes demolished
- eight street signs installed
- approval of the bi-annual road stripping on Patterson Road
- illegal signs on residential properties removed
- landscaping for one of the oldest cemeteries in the Joliet area, the Zarley Cemetery.
Tracy is a man of action and will continue to challenge the status quo to help enhance the lives of those around him.
Working with the State
Most recently, Tracy Jennings had the privilege of working for the State of Illinois as a Public Service Administrator (PSA) from 2013-2018. Tracy held the title of a PSA in three state agencies: The Department of Human Services, The Department of Children and Family Services Legal Division, and The Department of Employment Security.
In the Department of Human Services, his staff aided clients through their application process for public assistance programs. While serving in the Department of Children and Family Services Legal Division, he was responsible for maintaining 52 service providers contracts with the State of Illinois that had an annual value of 500 million dollars. Tracy’s last assignment was with the Department of Employment Security. As the Local Office Manager for the largest call center in the State of Illinois, he was responsible for a staff of 84 union state employees who assisted claimants with filing for unemployment benefits. Tracy recently left the State of Illinois to purse his mission of becoming the next Congressman elected from the Illinois 7th Congressional District.
Tracy Jennings was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois in 1968. Today, Tracy resides in Westchester, Illinois, a place he has called home for more than 20 years. A product of the Chicago Public Schools system and avid supporter of public education, Tracy is a graduate of Morgan Park High School and Northern Illinois University, where he earned his Bachelor Degree in Psychology. He also has a Bachelor degree in Telecommunications Management from DeVry University, and completed graduate courses at the University of Illinois Springfieldand Moody Theological Seminary.
Tracy Jennings is married to Cynthia and celebrated 25 years of marriage September 2018. They have two adult children, Reggie and Traci. Reggie earned his Master’s Degree in Higher Education in May of 2018 and now works at Texas Christian University. Traci, a second year Law student at Marquette University, is the President of the Black Student Law Association. As parents, Tracy and Cynthia firmly believe that, “it does not matter where you start, it’s where you finish that counts,” a motto they have instilled in their children and applied to their own lives.