Jesse is one of the few people in the world who have completed a marathon while juggling. He has also juggled a running chainsaw while managing to keep all toes, fingers, and limbs. Yet neither his wife nor one of his prospective life insurance underwriters liked that feat.
Jesse learned how to juggle 3 beanbags from his friend Tim when he was 11 years old. He loved the challenge so much that he got every book he could from the library about juggling. Then one day in high school, some classmates found out Jesse could juggle and they convinced him to perform in the variety show – and Jesse was thrilled that people actually clapped for machete juggling and ladder balancing. One thing led to the next, and soon Jesse found himself street performing in Jerusalem, sharing a stage line-up with comedian Sinbad, and being employed as an entertainer for Paramount Parks. His credits have included television, radio, a halftime show for the Washington Mystics, and some gold and silver medals at the World Joggling Championships (running and juggling at the same time).
Jesse went to college (Taylor University, Indiana) and seminary (Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky), studying the Bible and pastoral ministry. During that time, he realized he could teach kids and families about the Bible using the juggling routines he had developed. So in 1999, Jesse started a “juggling ministry” that taught the message of the Gospel in this creative way. He later served a term as the President of the Christian Jugglers’ Association and has also held memberships with the International Jugglers Association and the Fellowship of Christian Magicians. He has had the privilege of performing for audiences in over 30 states and on 3 continents. Jesse continues to perform both church-themed shows as well as “purely entertainment” shows, which do not have a religious message of any sort.
Now, Jesse continues to travel with his show, doing about 130 presentations a year. He cherishes his time at home with his family – Sarah, his wife, and Keziah Grace, their daughter. Sometimes, Sarah and Kezzie travel with Jesse to his shows, but other times they like to just hang out at home. Sarah is a professional counselor (LPC) in the Richmond, Virginia area where the Joyners make their home. Jesse’s other interests include fixing up their 1925 home in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood, playing the piano, and pushing his daughter on the swing.