"Everything God brings into my life is for His glory and honor
and for my good, my benefit, and my joy"
His Glory My Joy
James was born June 27,1944 in Memphis, Tennessee, but he spent most of his growing up years in Houston, Texas. Although he attended church regularly with his family, James did not accept Christ as his Savior until the age of 18. Then, one night while praying for his brother's salvation, he realized there had never been a time in his life when he asked the Lord to save him.
As he thought about a verse from Isaiah 64:6, "All our righteousness is as filty rags," he realized his own efforts meant nothing to God. That night, he knelt beside his bed and asked the Lord to come into his heart. From that moment on, he began actively sharing his faith.
At the age of 20, while attending junior college, James felt God was calling him to preach. For several months, he refused to acknowledge this call, openly rebelling against the Lord. However, during a revival service in his church, while praying for a filling of the Holy Spirit, the Lord revealed to James that He could not fill him with His Spirit until he was obedient and willing to yield himself to His call. That evening, James made a commitment to become a full-time minister of the gospel.
James immediately transferred to East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, Texas, where he began preparing for the ministry. During the summer of 1964, he was appointed by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to serve as a summer missionary in the Chicago area. It was here he met his future wife, Luana Pollock. Her father, Allan Pollock, was the Director of Missions in the area, and James worked with him to support and start new churches. After a long distance courtship, James and Luana were married two years later and moved into student housing on the campus of East Texas Baptist College.
Following graduation, James and Luana moved to Flint, Michigan, where he began a full-time evangelism ministry. Their only child, Karis, was born in Flint in 1969. In 1970, he accepted the pastorate of the Lincoln Park Baptist Church in Flint. In 1972, James returned to Texas, enrolling at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. During his seminary days, he pastored the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Gainesville, Texas. Upon graduation in 1975, he accepted the pastorate of the Highland Park Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
While doing further studies at Southern Seminary in Louisville, James and Luana felt the Lord's call to serve in missions, and, in 1977, they were appointed as missionaries to Venezuela, South America. There, they planted new churches and gave encouragement to the national pastors.
In 1981, they returned to the States and accepted the pastorate of Calvary Baptist Church in Evansville, Indiana, a church located in an aging section of the downtown area. During his years as pastor there, the church experienced spiritual and numerical growth. In 1984, James became the Associate Director of Missions for the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, traveling extensively throughout the state, both preaching and supporting the Convention's missions endeavors.
After serving five years with the State Convention, James accepted the pastorate of First Baptist Church, Santa Fe, New Mexico. God also blessed this pastorate with steady growth.
In 1994, James was called to be the Senior Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma. During his seventeen years in this position, God blessed this ministry in a wonderful way. Under his leadership, three additional buildings were built, several properties were purchased for off-site ministries, and five ministerial positions were added to the church staff. James retired from Bethel in September 2011.
James has served Southern Baptists on various committees and held offices on both the State Convention and Associational levels. In addition, he has served on the Committee on Committees for the Southern Baptist Convention and as a trustee with the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Now, James does interim and supply preaching while prayerfully making himself available to other ministry doors the Lord may choose to open.
While he loves playing golf, entertaining his two grandsons, and visiting historical sites, what he most enjoys is preaching the incredible Word of God!