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About Pastor James

In 1959 at the age of 16, James Washington began a serious relationship with God.  He was ordained as a deacon in 1966 and ordained to the ministry in 1977 at the Greater Mount Calvary Baptist Church. In the later part of 1978, James founded the Bethel Temple Community Church in Pomona, CA. He studied theology at the University of La Verne, under Prof. Vernard Eller, and studied pastoral counseling at Claremont College under Prof. Howard Clinebell.

Early, he played lead guitar for the Christian Crusaders in Fort Worth, Texas, and more recently, he played bass guitar for the Bittersweet Gospel band in Los Angeles, California. He is a singer, songwriter, and musician.
James served on the anti-racism training team for the Church of the Brethren from 2003 to 2007. He and Sandra founded Best Friends Ministries, sharing African American culture through music and plays, as well as working with youth. He wrote one book that is at the publisher's and is working on his second book at the publisher’s request.


James co-founded Time Out Ministries. Time out is an acronym for Today’s
Interaction May Encourage Our Unity Tomorrow.  Time Out focuses on finding ways to embrace our diversity as the people of God.


James currently serves as the Pastor of both the Pleasant View and Elm Street Church of the Brethren congregations in the Lima area. He has served on the Pacific Southwest and the Northern Ohio District boards and is currently a member of the Allen County Mental Health Advisory Board.
James and his wife, Sandra, have been married for 18 years, have a blended family of nine children, and a truckload of grand and great-grandchildren.

Throughout his life’s journey, loving and enriching relationships were created with many people who have been blessings in his life.

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