Reverend Cean James is the founding pastor of the Grace Christian Fellowship (GCF) of Southwest Philadelphia. Located in the Elmwood neighborhood of Philadelphia, GCF is a church with a heart for the community and evangelism, and has given itself the goal to ensure that every household in the 19142 zip code hears the Good News of Jesus Christ. GCF is dedicated to soul saving and in its first eight years has baptized over 200 new believers and has a membership of over 400. On Easter Sunday, 2012, GCF planted a sister church in Mt. Airy that gathers for worship early Sunday mornings. Also, in 2012, GCF was very blessed to unite with the United Church of Christ (UCC).
Rev. James completed his undergraduate studies at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in biology and received his Masters of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia. At Lutheran, Rev. James is the 2007 recipient of the J. Q. Jackson Award, given to the African American student with the highest grade point average. Pastor James is currently a doctoral candidate at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Recently, Pastor James returned to LTSP where he is the Preaching Instructor in the Certificate Program. Pastor James also serves the universal church as Vice Moderator of the Philadelphia Association, UCC.
Rev. James is a much sought after revivalist and teacher. In 2004 he was highlighted in the quarterly publication, The African American Pulpit, as a member of its 20 to Watch List, a collection of young clergy person who represented the bright future of the African American preaching tradition. He is a former board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Southeastern PA, and the former chairman of the Philadelphia Public Schools Faith Based Task Force. Rev. James has also taught science on several private and parochial schools in the Philadelphia area.
Rev. James is married to the former Kesha Barton of Columbia, SC. Kesha, a graduate of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Law, practices law in the public interest. They have been blessed with three sons, Clarence Milton, Jesse Joseph, and Cean Benjamin.