Official Obituary of

Pastor James Leslie "Jim" McElyea

March 6, 2024


Pastor James Leslie “Jim” McElyea went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, March 6, 2024.  He was born November 28, 1938, in Fairfield, Illinois, to the late James M. and Hazel McElyea.   He was also preceded in death by his brother, Glenn McElyea.  Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Shirley McElyea, sister Linda McElyea, and brother Tim McElyea. Jim and Shirley have three children:  Scott (Dava) McElyea, Todd (Kim) McElyea, and Cari (Kyle) Sisney.

Jim graduated from Alton High School in Alton, Illinois in 1956.  Afterwards, he attended Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tennessee, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English.  Later, earning a Bachelor of Divinity from Temple Baptist Seminary in 1965, also located in Chattanooga.  

The most important decision that Jim ever made took place at Cherry Street Baptist Church in Alton, Illinois.  There, at the age of 11, he placed his faith in Jesus as his Savior.  This decision changed his life forever, and today he has graduated to his eternal home with Jesus in Heaven.   The next took place a year later.  At the age of 12, he surrendered his life to serving God in full time ministry. Because he had surrendered his life to serving God, Jim pastored 3 successful churches.  The first was Cottage Hills Baptist Church (from 1965 to 1970) in Cottage Hills, Illinois.  The second was First Baptist Church of Colchester Illinois (from 1970 to 1975).  And the third was Grace Baptist Church of Moberly Missouri (from 1975 to 2014).  He also preached on the radio in Moberly for over 48 years.  

In his life, Pastor Jim was noted for being a faithful and loving husband to his wife Shirley, a loving father to his 3 children Scott, Todd, and Cari, and a loving Grandfather to 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.  

Pastor Jim McElyea was known for his unswerving belief in the Bible which he read nearly every day, his preaching of the Word of God, and his care over the people that he pastored throughout his life.  He was also known for helping people who were in need, comforting the hurting, and being like a father to many of the young people who came out of the churches that he pastored.  Because of his mentoring, he was responsible for influencing several young men and women into Christian ministry including some in his own family.  

Jim McElyea will be greatly missed by his family, church family, and the friends that he has made over the years.

In lieu of flowers memorials to Grace Baptist Church would be preferred.

Words of comfort and support were shared with the family at a visitation held in the Cater Funeral Home.  Funeral services honoring and celebrating Pastor’s life were at the Grace Baptist Church.  Committal prayer and burial followed at the Oakland Cemetery.

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