St. James began as an idea of a group of people who wanted a new United Methodist Church in northwest Little Rock. After several neighborhood meetings, Dr. Joe R. Phillips was named the first pastor of this new church. The church was officially chartered on April 6, 1969 as a local congregation of the United Methodist Church with 96 charter members.The church building, however, came later. The congregation worshiped in the chapel of the United Methodist Children’s Home until October 11, 1970, when they held their first service in the new building. By 1971, more classrooms had to be added to house the growing congregation. By July of 1976, there were 695 members. In 1981, a new $1.5 million sanctuary was added to accommodate the membership of 2,200.In 2006 St. James set a new record for capital giving by United Methodist Churches in Arkansas as we pledged over $7 million in the “Faith, Growth and Love” capital campaign. St. James expanded it’s facilities to include a new Worship Center, additional classroom and office space, a Welcome Center and a Christian Life Center. A second campaign, “Follow in Faith” added another $3.2 million to that sum.Today, St. James is one of the largest United Methodist Churches in Arkansas with a membership of over 3,600. As we continue to grow in members, our goal is clear: to expand and enhance our ability for making disciples of Jesus Christ. As we grow larger, we also intend to “grow smaller” by enabling each individual member to grow in Christian discipleship, service and fellowship.

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