Posted on : Friday April 26, 2019

By Sharon Mager

Dr. James Nichols died on April 16, 2019. Affectionately known by many as “Dr. J.,” Nichols was loved for his kind spirit, sense of humor, and dynamic preaching.

James Nichols is remembered as a “faithful servant.”

He was a former Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) president, and he served as the senior pastor of Faith Baptist Church (FBC), in Glen Burnie, Maryland from 1994 to 2008, before being called as the senior pastor of Chapel Hill Baptist Church, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Tim Byer, the current pastor of FBC, wrote about Nichols on Facebook, “He was a faithful servant to our church and to the community. He will always be known for his powerful preaching, gentle spirit, transformative leadership, and his practical jokes. Our church grew much during his pastorate both in numbers and spiritual maturity. He pastored well.

“Personally, I knew him as my pastor as a teenager, my supervisor as I began in ministry, and most recently as a long-distance mentor.


“Through the sadness, we celebrate the victory. Easter, of all times, reminds us of the resurrection for which we share in Jesus. Our loss of Dr. J is temporary. For those in Christ, we will see him again. In fact, we haven’t really lost him at all. We know where he is.”

Pastor Nichols was preceded in death by his father, Walton Newton Nichols, and his son, James Patrick “Jay” Nichols. He is survived by his wife, Susan Elaine Land Nichols; daughters, Sharon Eliza Nichols and Catherine Grace Nichols; sisters, Eleanor Morgan of Atlanta, Georgia, and Judy Joiner of Trussville, Alabama.; mother, Mrs. Myra Jean Nichols of Birmingham, Alabama.

Funeral services were held on April 18 at Chapel Hill Baptist Church, followed by interment at Jefferson Memorial Gardens in Trussville, Alabama.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to help further Chapel Hill Baptist Church’s “Building Our Legacy” fund at