This is my story: My faith journey began when I was 19 years old. I had not been going to church regularly before that time-Christmas and Easter. I never been in Sunday school or Vacation Bible school.
Then one Sunday morning I had a desire to go to church. What a strong feeling that was for me. I know that it was the Holy Spirit leading me.
I went to church that morning even though I had never attended that church before or knew anyone in the church. When the pastor gave an invitation to accept Christ as their personal savior I went forward and was later baptized.
Even though I became very active in the church-Sunday school teacher, board member, choir member, youth leader and counselor, I still felt a calling from God to go into ministry.
In 1980 I began lay preaching in different churches. In 1983 a Congregational Church asked me to fill-in for their pastor for a few Sundays. When the pastor left they asked me to be their pastor. I was licensed and ordained in that church and served there as bi-vocational pastor until I was called to my present church on September 1, 1985.
This was when I began my full-time ministry and became this church's first full-time minister in 50 years. It was difficult as I tried to build up the church but the Lord has provided. I have been at this church ever since that time and I feel that this is where God has placed me.
In 1988 I felt God leading me to get more education to do His work, I enrolled that September and spent the next eight years as a full-time pastor and part-time student. I received my degree in 1996. I felt that it was time to be recognized by the denomination since I had been an ABC pastor for 11 years and received my M.Div. degree. After meeting with the board in Valley Forge I was accepted and recognized in October of that year.
I still felt that I needed more experience in ministry to people in hospitals settings and in relating to my peers, so I continued my education by receiving three units of C.P.E. from 1996-1999 at a behavioral hospital in Mt. Gretna.Pa. and one unit of C.P.E. from a nursing facility in Allentown, Pa.
Since that time I have taken C.E.U.'s as often as I can to help in my ministry and continue to grow in Christ.
I will continue to serve the Lord wherever He leads me. I am convinced that God has called me to ministry and for that reason I consider it a calling and not a vocation. I have a desire to preach His Word, encourage, visit, and teach His people.
I will continue to do His work as a Shepherd of this church with the guidance of His Holy Spirit for His honor and glory. Pastor Jim