Rev. James Lewis Reynolds, 74, of Port Orchard, passed away on July 9, 2013. He was born to the late Paul A. Reynolds and Beulah S. Reynolds on August 26th, 1938.
James was raised on his family’s farm in the rural town of Oakwood, Ohio. He grew up intending to continue farming like his father; however, when he answered the call to ministry as a young man his life received a defining redirection.
James attended Defiance College, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio Northern University and Masters Degree in Divinity from the Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio. In 1964 he married his love Susan Strole in Toledo, Ohio. Together they answered an invitation to begin his ministry and start a new life adventure in Washington State.
Following ordainment as Elder in the United Methodist Pacific Northwest Conference, James first served the East Mill Plain and Orchards churches in Vancouver, WA. He then held a special appointment as Associate Program Council Director, responsible for developing programs in leadership training, camping ministries, and youth empowerment. He also led many group hikes into the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, and published inspirational articles and photos from his experiences.
In his passion to serve at the local level, he and his growing family served faithfully in five additional churches including locations in Spokane, Centralia, Kirkland, Seattle and Bremerton before retiring in 2001. During his pastoral career, he served on numerous local and regional church boards and committees, and presided over 550 funerals and weddings. His work embodied a visionary, steady, and grounded approach to church and life.
James enjoyed camping, hunting and fishing, traveling to distant countries with his wife, organizing family gatherings, making ice cream, and spending time with his two grandchildren. He valued sharing life stories, writing and reflecting. Throughout his life he appreciated the natural beauties of God’s earth and had a special love for the mountains, highlighted by a climb of Mt. Rainier in 1971.
James is survived by his wife of 49 years, Susan, and three children Stephen (Tifanie), Jonathan (Rebecca) and Sara, and grandsons Ryan and Matthew. His wisdom, love and support will be greatly missed.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m., July 16 at the Lewis Funeral Chapel in Bremerton. Memorial gifts can be made to the Port Orchard United Methodist Church.
Submitted by: Robin Worline
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