Jim Kelsey has been the Executive Minister of American Baptist Churches of New York State since August of 2012. He began his ministry as pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia and went on from there to the Park Avenue Baptist Church in Mansfield, Ohio.
After that Jim and his wife Debbie (currently pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Utica, New York) served with International Ministries as missionaries in Europe. They worked with Dutch-language churches in Flanders and then moved to Italy where they served primarily with churches of African immigrants. In Italy, Debbie worked extensively with young women who had been trafficked into the country, and Jim provided theological training for immigrant pastors. Jim also taught courses in Vietnam for Baptist pastors.
Jim’s priority for the Region is to add value to the ministries being practiced by Region churches and is committed to helping churches develop the competencies to assess and minister to their communities as those communities and our culture changes. He has led the Region in offering international and in-state hands-on mission experiences for our churches. He has made the training of lay leaders and Certified Lay Ministers an emphasis in Region ministry.
Jim has recently been studying and writing about Christian civility.
Jim earned a B.S. in accounting. He went on to receive an M.Div. and Ph.D. in New Testament from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary under the presidency of Dr. Roy Honeycutt. He did a term of research at Cambridge University as part of his doctoral studies.