The Episcopal churches of St James of Bradley Beach and St. Michael the Archangel of Wall Township announced the appointment of a new priest, Rev, Dr. James T. Yarsiah, former Chaplain/Vicar and Assistant professor of Religion and Philosophy at Voorhees College and St. Philips Episcopal Church in Denmark, South Carolina.
“Father James,“ as he wishes to be called, will be serving as priest-in-charge in New Jersey at both churches.
During the last nine years, Father James has engaged in a trifold ministry of full time college chaplain, vicar, and faculty. He has been an ordained Episcopal minister since 1996, hailing from The Episcopal Church of Liberia. Prior to moving to the United States he served parishes in Liberia. He has been involved in numerous community ministries including programs of global outreach.
“Speaking on behalf of both St James and St Michael’s churches, we, are all very excited to welcome Father James to our parish families and look forward to his leadership and community ministries,” said Gregg Dodd, senior warden at St. James.
Throughout his ministry, James has continued to engage in local and global outreach ministries and partnered with dioceses, churches, institutions, organizations and individuals to assist the needy. He has received several awards for his humanitarian services to mankind and the community.
In April 2001, James and his family participated in a Sabbatical Priest Program from the Episcopal Church of Liberia, sponsored by the Christ Church Cathedral Parish in Nashville, Tennessee. The Yarsiahs returned home to Liberia in 2002 and were forced to flee in July 2003, due to escalation of fighting among various rebel factions; and they sought refuge in Ghana for six months.
In February 2004, with the assistance of special friends at the Christ Church Cathedral Parish, Nashville, James and his family returned to the United States on a Religious Worker Visa. On June 1 of the same year, he accepted a call to serve as Vicar at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Charleston, in the Diocese of South Carolina and became canonically resident two years later. Fr. Yarsiah’s tenure as Vicar at St. Andrew’s expanded its ministries both internally and externally organizing a youth choir, Summer Enrichment Program for low to middle income children and acquired a 21 passenger-seat bus with a $15,000 grant, awarded by the United Thank Offering (UTO) of The Episcopal Church. In the NJ Diocese, James has served on the Standing Committee and was serving his first of a three-year term on the Diocesan Council when he accepted the call to serve as Priest-In-Charge at St. James Episcopal Church, and St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church, in the Diocese of New Jersey.
Father James is a 2010 Doctor of Ministry (D Min) graduate of the School of Theology, the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from the Episcopal University and Seminary, Cuttington University College, now Cuttington University in Liberia and studied at the Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee. James is a certified trauma counselor and author. James is married to Ophelia N. G. Yarsiah, a chorister with a BSc degree in Human Services; and they are blessed with three children, Wede, Temah, and Kenneth. Ms. Davidetta, James’ niece, is also included in the Yarsiah family.
St. James Episcopal Church is located on Fourth and Hammond Avenues in Bradley Beach. St. Michael the Archangel Church is located on Allenwood Road in Wall Township. Both churches offer an 8 a.m. service and 10 a.m. Choral Eucharist service, followed by a fellowship coffee hour. Visit the websites for further information, saintjamesbb.com and stmichaelswall.com.