October 2018   
Rev. Dr. James N. Montgomery

The Rev. Dr. James N. Montgomery was installed as the 18th Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in the spring of 1991. Born in Ft. Worth, Texas and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Jim has previously served as pastor to congregations in Louisiana and Florida. He earned his B.A. in English from Davidson College in Davidson, NC, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Theological Seminary, now called Union Presbyterian Seminary, in Richmond. Virginia.

Jim and his wife, Elysa, a registered nurse, met on a blind date while in college and married in 1974. They are the naturally-proud parents of Nathan, Tim, and Mary Margaret, and the extremely-pleased grandparents of Noah and Tobin.  Nathan and his wife, Paula, live in Indianapolis with their two young sons; Tim lives here in Decatur with his wife, Amber; and Mary Margaret, as of this writing, is a third year law student at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Jim will discuss theology, sports, and music, at the drop of a hat, though not necessarily in that order. He has been known to laugh over and over again at the often wise, very often funny sayings of children. Jim plays the piano and sings some; he has dabbled in theatre, having played Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, and Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. He still tries to play basketball, tennis, and softball. He likes golf “some,” though by his own admission, he’d like it more “if I didn’t have to do so much fishin’ and huntin’.”
Community ministry has always been on the forefront of what Jim feels compelled to do, having served on a number of community and human service organizations throughout his career.  In Panama City, Florida, he was instrumental in the first CROP Walk and initiating a Habitat for Humanity chapter. While in Decatur, he has served on St. Mary’s Hospital Advisory Board, the board of Project Success, and the Human Relations Commission. He enjoyed being the PTA President of South Shores Elementary School when his children were there. Jim has also taught Contemporary Theology as an adjunct professor at Millikin University.
Jim says, “This congregation really is the best group of sinners I’ve ever known. Seriously, I love the people of First Pres and their passion for peacemaking, mission and ministry, worship and music, as well as their strong tradition as advocates for the oppressed and the voiceless in our society. I continue to be impressed with all the saints of First Pres who work so hard and well in the center of the city of Decatur as a downtown church.”
Jim enjoys inviting folks to First Pres by saying, “We’re open on Sundays; no appointments necessary.” He invites all who surf the web and have discovered this website to “come and see.”
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