James and Carmin Byers are both from South Carolina and met each other at Clemson University. They have lived in China Grove, NC, for 19 years where James pastors a PCA church. They have two grown children, Josiah and Victoria.
Although James attended church growing up, it was the ministry of Young Life that God used to communicate the person and work of Jesus. James received Christ during a YL summer camp. James and Carmin were involved in various Christian ministries in college doing evangelism and discipleship. James spent a summer in the Philippines with CRU and that experience ignited a passion for missions and the gospel in the world.
Although Carmin did not grow up in a Christian home, she can’t remember a day she didn’t love Jesus. She used to preach to the chickens in her yard, pretending they were children in Africa. She committed her life to missions when she was only 10, and has been committed to evangelism and discipleship ever since.
James and Carmin were married in 1984 while part of a church planting team. James was working as an engineer when God called him into fulltime ministry. Their family moved to Charlotte where James attended RTS. After graduation they joined a mission team in Lyon, France, where James pastored an Expat church and taught at the MTW mission school.
Since returning to the States, James and Carmin have led the church in a ministry to the immigrant and poverty stricken areas of their town. James also has served for a season leading monthly worship in a local prison.
Excited about the vision and ministry of ELI, James will serve in East Africa with a focus toward training particularly in western Tanzania. He will seek to develop new initiatives and support the ongoing development of leaders in this region with tremendous needs. East Africa continues to experience great challenges but is filled with glorious opportunity for God’s kingdom growth.