Reverend James

James Watson was called to First Congregational Church as Senior Minister in the fall of 2018. Prior to this, James served churches in Illinois, Colorado and Washington State. He is passionate about the transformative difference a vital church can make in people’s lives and in the life of the wider community it serves.

James is a graduate of Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO, and has engaged in further graduate study of the 16th Century Reformation at Vancouver School of Theology in British Columbia, and at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. At one point, James took a leave of absence from the church to work as an Executive Chef. There he gained valuable insights in extending hospitality that have since transformed his ministry with churches, helping to create a more welcoming, embracing and forward-looking culture. He also learned to cook a wide variety of cuisines, and on occasion enjoys sharing those skills at church, too. James is married to Thelma Burgonio-Watson, a retired Presbyterian minister, and together they have an adult daughter who lives with her husband in the St. Louis area.