Bishop James W. Hunt Sr., pastor of Ebenezer Church of God in Christ, died on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. He was 74.
He was born on May 1, 1942 to Lola and the late William Hunt in Rochelle, Ga. Hunt attended David MacKenzie High School and the Detroit Institute of Technology. He was a member of Anderson Memorial Church of God in Christ, under the leadership of Bishop C. L. Anderson Jr. After his formal schooling, he served in the military, with a portion of time being stationed in Southeast Asia before being honorably discharged.
During his military service, Hunt met Julia A. Anderson, daughter of the late James Anderson and district missionary Ruth M. Anderson, who later married the late Rev. Clifford B. Clyburn, pastor of Lighthouse Church of God in Christ. It was there that he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.
He and Julia were married in 1966 and four sons were born to their union.
Hunt relocated from Philadelphia to Wilmington, Del., in 1970 to manage an office for General Electric Credit Corporation. He also attended Goldey-Beacom College, receiving a degree in business administration. His business career spanned more than 15 years in sales and management.
Hunt became a Sunday school teacher in 1967 and was soon ordained a deacon in 1968. Hunt was called to the ministry in 1971 and received his minister’s license in 1973.
That year he was appointed dean of the State Sunday School Department for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Jurisdiction. In 1974, Jurisdictional Bishop O. T. Jones Jr. ordained him as an elder and then, five years later, appointed him pastor of Ebenezer COGIC where he served for more than 37 years.
Outreach was the cornerstone of Hunt’s calling, message and life at Ebenezer COGIC, taking many forms, from visiting homes in the community, to traveling to hospitals to visit and care for the sick, to ministering in prisons, all the way to broadcast media, including the ATOMIC (A Time Of Ministry In Christ) Radio Ministry on WURD AM 900 and co-founding the United Ministries for Christ television ministry.
His family said his love for reaching out extended beyond the traditional boundaries of church and country. In 1982, he attended the 13th Pentecostal World Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa. The following year, Bishop O. T. Jones Jr. asked him to lead a missionary delegation to Liberia and the Ivory Coast, West Africa, with his wife, Evangelist Missionary Julia A. Hunt.
Jones asked that he serve on several jurisdictional committees. Under the leadership of Bishop Benjamin J. Ravenel, Hunt was appointed chairman of the state budget committee and later, the superintendent of the Metropolitan District.
Hunt served on several committees in the General Assembly of the national church. After many years of service, he was elected to the office of vice chairman on April 18, 2001. He was re-elected to three successive terms, serving 12 years — making him the longest-serving vice chairman in the history of the church. Hunt was elevated to chairman of the General Assembly in 2012 and then was elected to that position in 2014 where he served tirelessly.
He was preceded in death by his son, Jonathan C. Hunt.
In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by: his sons, James W. Hunt II, Janard A. Hunt and James C. Hunt; daughters-in-law, Karen E. Hunt, Christina P. Hunt, Sasha D. Hunt and Michelle M. Hunt; grandchildren, Brandon X. Hunt, Xavier B. Hunt, Brice J. Hunt, Britton J. Hunt, Toshiro M. Hunt, Minako K. Hunt, Trinity C. Hunt, Jewel K. Hunt, Nadia G. Hunt, Jasmine L. Hunt and Donovon W. Hunt; and other relatives and friends.
The local homegoing celebration was held on aturday at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, 6401 Ogontz Ave. Viewing was at 8 a.m. Service will followed at 10 a.m.
National homegoing celebration was held Nov. 14 at 9 a.m. at The America’s Center – Halls 4 & 5, 701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis.
Ervina White Beauford Funeral Service handled the arrangements.