Meet Reverend Cean R. James

Founder and Pastor
Grace Christian Fellowship, UCC
Associate Conference Minister of Congregational Development
Pennsylvania Southeast Conference, UCC

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 its community, evangelism, and social justice work. On any given day you will find members of GCF out on the streets of Philadelphia talking about Jesus, inviting neighbors to our recovery ministry, and encouraging the brothers on the corner. In just 12 years of organization, the Lord has blessed GCF to grow to over 600 members. 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. Pastor James is currently matriculating in the Doctoral program at Lancaster Theological Seminary.

Recently Pastor James joined the staff of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference, UCC, as Associate Conference Minister of Congregational Development. In this role, Pastor James works with the churches of the conference in renewal, vitality, growth, and planting new ministries. Pastor James is also the Director of the CityLights Network, a capacity building nonprofit in Southwest Philadelphia.

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.