When you think of a “pastor,” what image comes to mind? Maybe a person who is clean-cut and straight-laced? Someone studious, with white shirts and black shoes, who prays in the eloquent language of King James? Well, Pastor James is no king. In fact, with long hair and lots of tattoos, he looks at first glance to be part of a local motorcycle gang, and indeed, that was part of his old life. But make no mistake – James Blankinship is a pastor – we are blessed to have him as our “Outreach Pastor” – having earned his degree from the Tucson Theological Seminary and his ordination from the Evangelical Association of America in 2009.
James gave his life to the Lord early in 2007 – right here at Community Christian – but it was in the springtime at a meeting of the S.O.B.E.R. Project in Tucson – a church dedicated to addiction recovery through the power of Jesus Christ – that he really “caught fire for the Lord.”
And he has been doing ministry for Jesus Christ ever since. James started and leads a S.O.B.E.R. group at Community Christian, which is still going strong today. And with his wife Kim, and a variety of music leaders including Cathy and Wayne Honea, he started the weekly 6:30 p.m. Saturday night Cross/Fire worship service, which also is still going strong. He also is an Elder.
Kim was actually the first person in touch with our church. In late 2006, with things going very badly for the family, Kim – a DES-certified child caregiver – had hung a flyer at the Marana Food Bank, advertising care at her home. It so happened that Pastor Dave was wanting to hire a paid Nursery Worker for the church. He didn’t know where to start – but when he went to the Food Bank one day, and saw Kim’s flyer, he called her up and… well, the rest is history. Kim started as our Sunday Nursery Worker, and eventually was hired on as teacher at our Preschool, where she worked for almost 2 years.
James and Kim have three grown-up daughters, who all have been part of our church: Brittnay, who has two boys, Tristan and Caden, and does massage therapy; Brandi, who is married to Alex Montano and has one boy, Alex Jr.; and Toni, who lives at home and helps out dad. Kim, Brandi, and Toni have all been baptized at our church. James also has two boys, Charlie and James, who live in the area with their families.
Pastor James and his family continue to serve the Lord, caring for and helping many even under adverse circumstances. We give thanks for their ministry.