James was born and raised in a small village 45-minutes from the Pillar of Fire Mission. During the war he captained a canoe and through repeated trips from Rivercess to Buchanan helped many people escape to safety. On one voyage strong sea currents and heavy winds forced him south to Sinoe County where rebels in other boats forced him ashore under machine gun fire. He fled on foot and after weeks of pursuit by multiple rebel parties was able to make it to Rivercess and then back to Buchanan by canoe. Once reaching Buchanan he was thrown in jail until he was able to prove his identity. After the war he returned to Rivercess and earned a living carving canoes and then later by farming. Prior to the Po River Clinic opening, there was a threat of a break-in that became known to those living on the mission. To support his brother, Isaac, in protecting the clinic, James and his shotgun became a regular fixture on the clinic porch in the evenings. Because of his work ethic and dedication he was brought on as a full-time security guard.