March 11, 1919 - January 9, 2016
Dr. James A. Nelson (Pastor Jim) was born March 11, 1919 in Brant, NY, a farming community outside of Buffalo, to David Jay and Mary Zella (Baird) Nelson and passed away January 9, 2016, in Peoria, AZ, at the age of 96. In his early years, Jim lived in Hamburg, NY, where he attended local schools. He graduated from Wheaton Academy in 1937 and attended Wheaton College where he met and married Betty Dobson in January of 1939. He later attended the University of Buffalo, Arizona State College (NAU) and Dallas Theological Seminary where he graduated with his Masters in Theology in 1950. Later in his ministry Jim received a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Denver Seminary. Jim pastored churches in Carrollton, TX, Flagstaff, AZ, Stockton, CA, Denver, CO and Santa Barbara. Jim was the first pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Santa Barbara, a position he held for 18 years. Following his retirement in 1983, Jim was president of International College and School of Theology in Honolulu, HI. In 1989 Jim and Betty moved to Sun City West, AZ where he was interim pastor at West Valley Baptist Church in Peoria, AZ and at Grace Bible Church in Sun City, AZ. Jim is survived by Betty, his wife of 76 years; three children, Judy Moffitt (Bob) of Phoenix, AZ, Beverly Ericson (Doug) of Rancho Cucamonga, CA and Jim Nelson (Marie) of Santa Barbara; seven grandchildren, Tasha, Barak, Nate, Andy, Heidi, Jimmy and Erin as well as fourteen great-grandchildren. His brother, Dr. Lincoln Nelson, predeceased Jim. A Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Jim will be held at Santa Barbara Community Church on Saturday, January 30 at 2:00 pm. Contributions in memory of Pastor Jim can be made to Flagstaff Mission to the Navajos, 6 W. Cherry Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 or to Dallas Theological Seminary, 3909 Swiss Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204.
Dr. James A. Nelson (Pastor Jim) was born March 11, 1919 in Brant, NY, a farming community outside of Buffalo, to David Jay and Mary Zella (Baird) Nelson and passed away January 9, 2016, in Peoria, AZ, at the age of 96. In his early years,... View Obituary & Service Information
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