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Rev William James

Obituary for Rev William James

June 27, 1926 - April 7, 2017
Pickens, South Carolina | Age 90


Reverend William D. James, age 90, of Pickens, SC, left his earthly life to be forever with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, April 7. He was born June 27, 1926, in Anderson, SC. He answered the call from God to the ministry of the gospel at the age of eighteen while serving in the US Navy.

He received his Associate of Arts Degree in 1948 from Southern Wesleyan University located in Central, SC, his AB Degree (1950), and THB Degree (1951) at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion IN. In 1949 he married Clara Chizum of Indiana and they have celebrated 67 years of marriage.

His first pastorate was in Gaston, Indiana. Afterward he moved his family to South Carolina where he served in ministry for 60+ years, pastoring churches in Central, Cateechee, Clemson, and Spartanburg. In 1977, he was elected to be the District Superintendent, serving for 15 years with responsibility for the sixty-six churches located throughout South Carolina. The Table Rock Wesleyan Campground, located next to Table Rock State Park, was developed during this time.

He served for twelve years (1980-1992) on the General Board of Administration which is the highest governing body of The Wesleyan Church located in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was also a Trustee for Southern Wesleyan University, Central, SC, and was Trustee Emeritus until the time of his death. For twelve years he was on the board of Hephzibah Children's Home, Macon, Georgia.

His speaking engagements included camp meeting services, revival meetings, and twelve years on the weekly radio program The Voice of Faith.

After his official retirement, he continued to work in interim or pastoral staff positions, as a bible study leader, and always an evangelist to his neighbors and friends.

Rev. James had a deep love of family and is survived by his wife, Clara (Chizum) James, his sister, Esterlee Vickery, three sons and wives, William Paul and Susan (Cooke), Stephen Mark and Anna (Cole), and Thomas David and Rebecca (Rollins), seven grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren. He will also be missed by extended family and a host of friends.

The funeral will be held at the Trinity Wesleyan Church, 700 Issaqueena Trail, Central, SC, on Thursday, April 13, at 2:00 p.m. The family will be receiving friends on Wednesday night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, Central, SC, and again at 1:00 p.m Thursday, at Trinity Wesleyan Church. Entombment will be in the Mausoleum located in Memory Gardens, Clemson, SC.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Southern Wesleyan University, Advancement Office, P. O. Box 1020, Central, SC 29630. These memorials will help complete the Nicholson-Mitchell Project.

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, which is assisting the family.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Southern Wesleyan University
    Advancement Office
    P. O. Box 1020
    Central, SC 29630

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Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory

108 Cross Creek Road
Central, SC 29630
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