In Memoriam: The Reverend Dr. Beverly W. James

October 25, 1950 – January 23, 2020

Please remember in prayer the family and friends of the Reverend Dr. Beverly Wallis James, who passed from this life into the Church Triumphant on Thursday, January 23, 2020. A longtime friend of Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC), Dr. James was a wise and compassionate pastor who will be deeply missed.

The Reverend Dr. Beverly W. James served as Associate Minister to the Pittsburgh Presbytery, where she worked with more than sixty congregations in the East and South Branches of Pittsburgh Presbytery, including ours. A Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church for thirty-nine years, Beverly began her service as a Volunteer in Mission in Thailand teaching English as a second language five years before she entered the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS).

Beverly’s longstanding connections with SPC were established during her seminary studies, when she interned among us. For nearly four years, she worked with the Reverend Dr. Robert Cleveland Holland and the Reverend Dr. George H. McConnel (affectionately known as “Sandy”) at SPC, where she carried out a particularly effective ministry with senior high youth. Beverly also spent one summer as the Chaplain at the Presbyterian House of the Chautauqua Institution under Shadyside’s sponsorship.

Dr. James fondly recalled preaching at SPC on the morning of Sunday, May 31, 1981 – the same day on which she was ordained in an afternoon service held at Dormont Presbyterian Church. She returned to SPC’s pulpit to proclaim God’s Word to our congregation many times in later years.

Throughout her ministry, Dr. James served many churches as interim pastor and demonstrated a strong commitment to assisting churches and pastors in times of transition. Indeed, she walked alongside SPC during several leadership transitions. In addition, she taught as adjunct faculty at PTS, the University of Pittsburgh, and La Roche College.

Beverly earned a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Communication from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts of Divinity from PTS, a Master of Arts in English from Carnegie Mellon University, and an A.B. in English from Brown University.

Her family will welcome friends on Sunday, January 26, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Schellhaas Funeral Home, Inc. (West View) 388 Center Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15229. A service of witness to the resurrection will be held on Monday, January 27, at 2:00 p.m. at Southminster Presbyterian Church, 799 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15228. (Those attending the service are asked to gather at the church.)

Please join us in giving thanks to God for Beverly’s life of faith, which she lived in dedicated service to Christ. An obituary is available online; you may read it by following this link.