By Sharon Mager
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—James (Jim) Hammond, who served as pastor of Gunpowder Baptist Church for 25 years, passed away on Jan 1. The Rev. Hammond ministered in Maryland, Pennsylvania and in Florida.
He served in the United States Navy during the Korean War and then attended Columbia International University, where he met his wife, Dolores. He continued his education at Baylor University, and he and Dolores married and both got jobs at The Boeing Company. He earned his Master of Divinity Degree at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Following graduation, Jim was seeking a “home mission” position on the East Coast. Jim spoke to Roy Gresham, then serving as Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware executive director, who urged the young man to move to the area. They answered a call at Ewing Baptist Church, Trenton, New Jersey, and ministered for over six years before being called to Gunpowder Baptist Church, where they stayed until retirement.
The couple moved to Pennsylvania, where they stayed several years before heading south to West Palm Beach. Dolores said Jim continued to minister in both states, serving at various times as an interim pastor and often providing pulpit supply.
Jim and Dolores were married for 57 years and she said during that time they always served as a team, following God’s leading.
Dolores said her husband was humble. God used his preaching and teaching ministry to call several men to Gospel ministry and others to the missionary field and since his death, many have contacted her to share what an impact Jim made in their lives.
She said everyone knew her husband loved the song, “It is Well With My Soul.” She said Jim couldn’t carry a tune, and he would often joke and say, “I can’t sing down here, but you wait! When I get to heaven, I’ll be singing with the angels.”
He loved the Lord, Dolores said. “Jim learned a truth at Columbia, and always carried it through his life, that our purpose is ‘ to know Him and to make Him known.’ That’s what he tried to do,” she said.
Though he spent much of his life involved with ministry, in his spare moments he enjoyed spending time with his family and stamp collecting.
In addition to Dolores, Jim is survived by his son, James W. Hammond, his wife Nicole; and a daughter, Vicki Carrier, and her husband Steven. He is also survived by four grandchildren: Andrea, Jack, Craig, and Chase and by a brother, Bill Hammond.
A funeral service will be held at 11:30 am on Jan. 14 at Royal Palm Presbyterian Church, 6348 Hypoluxo Rd, Lake Worth, FL 33463. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to Missionary Flights International or Urban Youth Impact. There will be another service at Gunpowder Baptist Church in March.