When it comes to creating and preaching a sermon, Revivaltime Tabernacle Ministries Inc. founding pastor, Rev. Dr. Audley James, makes a deep impact on his followers.
He is now trying to have the same effect on them using his vocal chords.
James is featured on a men’s choir gospel album which was released on Good Friday.
“Over the past 24 years, our church has organized a “Men of the Kingdom” conference for the entire month of March and last year we decided to put together a few songs,” said Dr. James. “The members of the choir are from our main church on Dufferin St. and the one in Durham. As far as I am aware, this is the first time this has been done by a church. We have had combined male and females in a choir, but not an all-male choir doing this kind of thing.”
James said he has been singing since he was a teenager. He won the bronze medal in the baritone solo category in Jamaica’s National Music Festival in 1965.
“I have never received any formal training in music,” he said. “It’s a God-given gift that I love to share.”
James’ son, Rev. Andrew James, was the arranger.
“He’s a music teacher and he used his talent and skills to put everything together,” said James, whose song is titled, “Thank You Lord for your Blessings on me.”
The album can be purchased through the church for $20.
Born in Trelawney, Jamaica, James was a police officer and health inspector before coming to Canada in 1969 to wed his sweetheart, Rosenda, and start a new chapter in his life.
He joined West End Revival temple where he was soon elevated to the Board of Deacons, the first Black to be elected to such an esteemed position in that church’s history. His desire to lead while at the same time justifying his belief in economic empowerment led to the establishment of Revivaltime Tabernacle in 1980 with a small congregation of 36, including 13 children. Three of the children belonged to him and his wife and they are all now fully involved in ministry.
His son, Andrew, is an assistant pastor while daughter, Judith, is married to Orim Meikle, the founder of Rhema Christian Ministries of Canada. His third child, Janna-Lyn, is married to the son of Faith Miracle Temple founder, Bishop Dr. Al Baxter.
James, who was ordained a Bishop by Canada Christian College seven years ago, spearheaded the drive to purchase 3.5 acres of land in Downsview to set up the church’s headquarters which now includes a mortgage-free sanctuary, gymnasium and school. He presides over three churches in Canada with a congregation of some 3,200, two satellites in Jamaica and one in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In 1993, with the assistance of Ontario’s Ministry of Housing, James spearheaded the development of a building in Mississauga which houses 45 three-bedroom units of affordable housing.