Rev. Fr. James Coles was born in 1967 in Dallas, TX. While in high school he got involved in Young Life (a Christian ministry to high school students) and went off to summer camp at Young Life’s Frontier Ranch in Colorado and, at age 15, began to live his life in Christ. In 1987, again at Frontier Ranch, he met his wife Karen during a college work week.
Upon graduation from Texas Tech in 1989 with a degree in Family Studies he moved to Tucson where he and Karen were married in 1990. After a short stint managing a Birkenstock shoe store he spent the next 6 years directing successful youth programs for Episcopal churches in Tucson, AZ and later Beverly Hills, CA. Highlights included dozens of ski trips, house building trips to Mexico and pilgrimages with teens to the Holy Land and the monastery in Taizé, France. Desiring to reach out to disaffected teens, Fr. James became Area Director of Young Life in Santa Fe, NM where he and his family would later convert to Eastern Orthodoxy.
In 2000 he, his wife and their two children headed off to St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Westchester, NY. Fr. James was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Theophany 2003, welcomed their third child in April and graduated that May with a Masters in Divinity. After 2 years as the assistant pastor at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Houston, Fr. James was assigned as Pastor in 2005 of Saint Ignatius of Antioch Orthodox Christian Mission in Mesa, AZ. Along with pastoring Saint Ignatius, Fr. James serves as the Teen SOYO Spiritual Advisor for the Diocese of Los Angeles and was until recently the North American Chaplain for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship.
The Sweet Lord Jesus, his sweet wife Karen, sweet kids, unsweetened tea and coffee, hiking, biking, chess, reading, writing, teaching, preaching, skateboarding, surfing (badly) and cup cakes make life sweet.
©2010, Fr. James Coles