Jim Christian was born in Huntington, West Virginia on April 10, 1944. However, his family moved to Cocoa, Florida when he was nine years old. In April 1961, he quit school and joined the United States Air Force. During his time in the military, he took the opportunity to finish his high school education and to become skilled as a jet aircraft mechanic.
On October 6, 1961, Pastor Christian married his childhood sweetheart, Becky Christian. Twenty days later, he was transferred to Japan and had to leave his young bride back in the States. In November of 1963, he returned to Cocoa, only to be reassigned to Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City for the last year and a half of his service. His discharge came in April of 1965 and Pastor Christian was able to move his family back to Cocoa, Florida.
In August 1964, their first child, James Christian, Jr., was born and in July of 1965, he was able to obtain a job at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station where he had the opportunity to work on the surveyor spacecraft that would later land on the moon. Pastor Christian continued to work full time out at the Space Center until 1987, when he was able to retire from this occupation and leap headfirst into the challenging role as full time Pastor of Cocoa Free Will Baptist Church.
Jim Christian accepted the Lord into his life in October of 1965, at a hometown revival in Cocoa, Florida.
However, it was not until two years later that he would also accept the Lord´s call into the ministry.
In March of 1967, Jim and Becky welcomed the addition of their second child, Donna. Three months later, Jim finally surrendered his life to the Lord's will and to full time service in the ministry. On June 18, 1967, a great legacy was begun when Pastor Christian preached his first sermon. It lasted only ten minutes, but to him it seemed an eternity!
Jim accepted a pastorate position at a small Free Will Baptist Church in Titusville, Florida from February 1970 until he resigned in July of 1972. During his time at the Titusville Church, he was able to see the church grow from 16 to 75 members, and he was able to see his own family grow with the addition of his last child, Douglas, in 1970.
To pursue his ministerial education at the Free Will Baptist Bible College in Tennessee and with the assistance of the GI Bill, Jim attended the Free Will Baptist Bible College in Tennessee from 1972 through 1974. During this time, he was also serving as pastor for a church in Portland, Tennessee.
After finishing his education, Jim Christian returned to Cocoa in December of 1974 and accepted the pastorate position at Cocoa Free Will Baptist, his home church. For the next ten years, he juggled full time work and a full time position as Pastor of this small church in Cocoa, Florida
Since then, Cocoa Free Will Baptist has changed its name. Today, the church is known as New Hope Fellowship. Pastor Christian has seen many changes in the church since he became Pastor in 1974, however one thing has remained constant - his faithful service and dedication to the Lord's work at New Hope Fellowship.
Today, Jim and Becky Christian live in Cocoa. They are both loved and respected by their three children and their spouses, Jimmy and Melissa Christian (Cocoa), Donna and Mark Walker (Georgia), and Doug and Dawn Christian (Rockledge). The Lord has also blessed them with ten wonderful grandchildren - Ashlee, Alyssa, Christina, Julia, Taylor, Madison, Zach, Alec, Christian, and Hayden, and one beautiful great-grandchild. Carter.
The year 2009 marked Pastor Christian's 35th anniversary here at New Hope Fellowship and during July 2008, he was asked to speak at our denomination's National Convention. We truly are a blessed congregation to have had both Pastor Jim Christian, and his wife, Becky, as our spiritual mentors all of these years. We would like to thank them both for their continuous sacrificial dedication, spiritual teaching and wise counsel.
Last updated on March 19, 2017
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