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Rev. William Riley James, Jr.

May 16, 1930 ~ August 18, 2018 (age 88)

Rev. William Riley James, Jr, born to the late Ida Mae (Horn) James and the late William Riley James, Sr, on May 16, 1930 went to meet our heavenly father on August 18, 2018.  


Riley attended Pikeville College upon graduation from Warfield High School.   In 1950, he joined the Navy and served in the south pacific during the Korean Conflict.   Riley came back to Kentucky after his military service and completed his degree and moved on to procure a Master’s Degree in School Administration from Morehead University.   He married Christina (Elkins) James in 1959 and they moved to Kansas City, Missouri for Riley to attend the Nazarene Theological Seminary. Rev. James pastored for 30+ years in the Church of the Nazarene at churches in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee.  He and Christina had two daughters, Margie and Melody.   Riley’s caring personality was perfect for ministry and his churches thrived under his leadership.  His joyful relationship with Jesus Christ was evident in all his life endeavors.   Riley served on numerous church boards including the Board of Trustees at Mt. Vernon Nazarene College.  In 1989 Christina went to heaven and in 1990 Riley married Etna (Sheridan) James.    Riley had two wonderful marriages each nearly 30 years.   He was a wonderful husband, father, and pastor; his fun and gentle humor will be missed. 


He is survived by his loving wife, Etna Sheridan James; his children, Margie Ault and husband Malcolm, Melody Jarrell and husband Chris; his grandchildren, Curtis Ault (wife Brittany), Bryce Ault (wife Isha), Ashley Jarrell, and Derek Jarrell.   He is also survived by his sister, Roseanna Mills; sisters-in-law Lydia Benson (husband Dan), Nancy Chamberlain, and Charlene Elkins Norfleet (husband Marvin); brothers-in-law William (Bill) Sheridan (wife Brenda), James (Jim) Elkins, and William (Bill) Elkins (wife Mary Beth) along with several nieces and nephews.  Riley was preceded in death by his parents, William and Ida James; his wife Christina and his brothers-in-law, Walter Mills and Floyd Chamberlain and sister-in-law Mary Jo Elkins.

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the memorial fund online at: OR via mail by sending a check to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries at: PO Box 843116, Kansas City, MO 64184. If sending a check, please include “Riley James Memorial” on the memo line. 


Visitation will be Friday August 24th from 3:00-5:00 with the service following at 5:00 at the Turkey Creek Church of the Nazarene in Inez, KY.

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