Pastor James offers a unique teaching style in delivering the Word of God and believes strongly that a diverse and multicultural church is an earthly picture of the diverse unity we’ll experience in Heaven.
Christ called me His own when I was in the 4th grade. My parents had placed me in a Christian school for educational purposes, but God had greater things in mind. After hearing the clear, Gospel message from my teacher, I came home, began to pray, and asked Jesus to come into my little, 9-year-old life. He did.
I remained in the Christian school system until I graduated from high school. However, I strayed from the Lord for a couple of years. Near the end of my junior year, I started going to a church for the best of reasons: a good looking girl I knew from my school was attending there. Needless to say, the Lord had different purposes in bringing me to that place. God used a traveling evangelist to draw me back to Him. A year later, that same evangelist came to the church again and God used him to call me into vocational ministry.
After completing a degree in Pastoral Ministry from Christian Heritage College (now San Diego Bible College), I moved from sunny San Diego to soggy Seattle. In fact, I still wear shorts just to remind myself of where I came from. In Seattle, I interned at Antioch Bible Church and completed my M. Div. through Western Seminary. These foundational intern years allowed me to grow spiritually, develop a vision for the Bride of Christ, and utilize the teaching gifts I had throughout various ministries in the church.
When I was brought on staff as a pastor at Antioch in 1998, I was involved with teaching adults, training prospective Deacons and Elders, as well as developing a church-based Bible college, the imago Dei institute. I would serve on the pastoral team of Antioch for the next 17 years.
In 2002, I made the second-best decision of my life, which was to marry Linda. We’ve been blessed with three children, Josiah, Sophia, and Jack. They are more than my family; they are the bulk of my sermon illustrations. Why? Because God continues to use them to teach me great things about life and ministry.
When I’m not involved in “pastoral or theological things”, you might find me at an antique store, a flea market, or an estate sale. While rusty items with a history are cool, they’re also a reminder that discarded things can always find a new purpose and home (which is actually a very pastoral, theological thing to say).