|James Edward Christie was born in Bauxite, Arkansas, and was the son of Methodist minister Andrew J. Christie and Florence Wildbur Christie. He felt his calling at a very early age and never strayed from that path. His wife, Marie, was the daughter of Methodist minister Van W. Harrell. During their high school years, James and Marie met, and they were united in marriage by Bishop Paul Martin when their fathers were serving on adjoining districts. He is survived by his wife of fifty-seven years, Marie Harrell Christie, a son, James Kenneth Christie and his wife Phebe, a grandson, James Aaron Christie, all of Little Rock, and a sister-in-law, Ginny Shreeve of La Jolla, California.
James was a graduate of Hendrix College (1945) and Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University (1948). Following his ordination, he began his ministry as associate pastor of First Methodist Church, Texarkana. He continued his ministry in Louisiana with pastorates in Baton Rouge, Amite, Alexandria, Plaquemine, Bunkie, Crowley, Franklin, Monroe, Ruston, and New Orleans. His last pastoral appointment, before joining the staff of General Board of Global Ministries was Grace in Ruston.
In 1969, he was sent by the Bishop on a preaching mission to Great Britain. Upon his return, members of his congregation insisted that he take them there on his vacation time. As they came home from the tour of Methodist historical sites in England, they immediately began to plan his next tour and vacation, including friends from all over the state. Subsequent tours included the Holy Land, Greece, Europe, and Scandinavia. On one tour, history buffs from the Commission on Archives and History organized the Louisiana Conference Historical Society in Bristol, England.
In 1980, James joined the executive staff of the General Board of Global Ministries. For ten years, he directed fund raising campaigns for numerous local churches across the nation. His conference-wide programs included Oklahoma, Florida, Nebraska, Little Rock, Kentucky, and North Georgia. He was always accompanied by his wife who helped him in each campaign, thus making it a decade rich in the establishment of new and lasting friendships.
He loved photography, and every parsonage had one bathroom which was turned into a darkroom for processing beautiful black and white photographs patterned after Ansel Adams. With his camera, he was a part of the Press at Jurisdictional Conference, allowing him access everywhere.
Following entombment at Rest Hills Memorial Park on January 5th, a celebration of thanksgiving and praise to God was held at St. James UMC, Little Rock. Bishop Kenneth Hicks presided at the service. Other participants were Senator Jim Argue, Dr. John Miles, Rev. Joe Wilkerson, and son, Ken Christie.
James was a man full of warmth, with a gentle considerate manner, given to laughter. He loved to hear a good pun, and even more to tell one. His creative nature assured all who knew him that no matter what the task, he would tackle it with the idea that nothing was impossible or to difficult to try. James Christie had a sustained loyalty to God, family, and friends. We are all richer for knowing a life so beautifully shared and devoted to others.
Marie H. Christie
|Source: 2005 Journal|