Bishop James A. Koonce: He Did It God’s Way!
When a mother and father reveres the blessing of a child, sometimes they have no idea what their life and the results of their parenting will be. Well, Mr. Isaac and Mrs. Anna Koonce of Maury
City, Tennessee, had a good idea that when the Lord blessed them with a son known as James A. Koonce, that they would spend early years making some good deposits that would follow him for the rest of his life. And follow him they did. As years went by and their son grew in the Lord, the day came when they would witness a fruitful life that their son James had embarked upon and they were privileged to hear James, now known as Bishop James Koonce, preach powerful sermons at the age of four growing up in Tennessee.
Born February 6, 1936, the future began for him, who from all indications, had a strong affinity and love for God and the church very early. He was blessed to get an early start which ultimately prepared him for the days ahead that would lead his family to Toledo in 1967, where they continue to reside. It is no doubt in the mind of Pastor, Bishop Koonce, that as he looks back over his life, that destiny and destinations weren’t too clear to him but he knew that God moved on him to preach his word and lead God’s people. And leading he has done without inhibitions.
His early days in Toledo afforded him the opportunity to attend Waite High School and to further his education at Detroit Toledo Bible College, Owens Community College, and Baker College. He was blessed to share his skills and talent at Ford Motor Company for 30 years, where we are told that he only missed 6 days of work throughout those years. What a commendable accolade to have this kind of track record with an employer.
In the formative years of Pastor Koonce, he united with the Mays Chapel United Holy Church of America with Pastor Anna Rollins where he served faithfully as the Sunday School Superintendent. He later continued to progress in ministry and served under the tutelage of the late Bishop William James from 1955 through 1969 as Assistant Pastor at Manhattan C. O. G. I. C., Greater St. James and James Temple C. O. G. I. C.
As the Lord continued to speak to Pastor Koonce, he was blessed to have been appointed as Pastor of the Union Pentecostal United Holy Church of America in Painesville, Oh. in August, 1976, by Bishop H. O. Latta and the Board of Elders. While serving there, he was a District Elder and Chairman of the Board of Presbytery in the Northwestern District.
Because of his dedication to God, his commitment to serve the people of God and his love genuinely for God’s people, Pastor Koonce was consecrated as a Bishop in the United Holy Church of America.
In 1987, Pastor Koonce was blessed to marry the love of his life, Rosemary Jones, who was the lead Singer for the Thomas Sisters of Jerusalem C. O. G. I. C. Today they share another pivotal moment in their lives: RETIREMENT! Yes, RETIREMENT. On January 1, 2017, Bishop Koonce RETIRED from the church where he has served for more than 40 years. He chose to preach his last sermon from the book of II Thessalonians 2:17 which reads, “ comfort your hearts...........”
We celebrate you Bishop James A. Koonce as you transition to RETIREMENT. We believe that you have and will continue to live out your favorite saying: “ I DON’T WANT TO IMPRESS PEOPLE, I WANT TO IMPACT THE LIVES OF PEOPLE”! The blessings of God be upon you.