BERTHA VALENTINE JAMES
Bertha Valentine James was born in Springfield, Ohio on June 30, 1896 to the parents of George and Hattie Valentine. She was educated in the Springfield Public Schools. She married Reverend John A. James, Sr., pastor of Broadus Chapel A.M.E. Church, in Springfield. In 1930, he was transferred to Detroit, Michigan to pastor Second Grace A.M.E. Church on Detroit’s Westside.
Mrs. James was a gifted writer, poet, and a prolific songwriter. One of her best known songs is, When I Think of the Goodness of Jesus, which she penned in July, 1936, during the era of the Great Depression while living in Detroit. This song epitomizes praise, thanks, and exaltation to God. The verses magnify the cross of Jesus, supplication, consolation, and spiritual guidance.
She became a resident of Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1975, where she served as assistant pastor, Bible teacher, and Sunday school teacher of the Apostolic Faith Mission, the church which she also co-founded. She held these positions until her death at the age of 94 years, in September 1990. She received recognition and awards for her participation in community activities, teaching skills, writings, poetry, and contributions to gospel music.
Mrs. James’ two children, Susie James-Mindingall, and John Andrew James Jr. were raised and educated in the city of Detroit. Susie now pastors the Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Tuskegee, Alabama. John was a traveling evangelist. He preached for over 65 years (1930-2022).
When I Think of the Goodness of Jesus Day
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