New Student Ministries Pastor

We are excited to announce that, after a long search, we have found Petra’s Student Ministries Pastor!

James Blake comes with years of youth ministry and executive pastor experience. He lives near Rochester, NY, is 36 years old, and is engaged to a wonderful woman, Stacey, who also feels called to ministry. He is filled with the Spirit and a graduate of Elim Bible Institute and College, where he focused on youth ministry studies as well as Bible. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Roberts Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s of Practical Theology from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

James has most recently been working as a youth advocate serving high school youth in Rochester. He describes the call on his life this way:

My passion and my calling are working with youth to help them realize who they are as children of God. The message of identity, who God says we are, and sharing that with youth and young adults has become my life’s work . . .  I am passionately committed to seeing his redemption and purpose ignite vision within youth. I strive to display what a life in relationship with Jesus looks like, so youth have a practical example displayed for them.

James is a team player; his heart is to grow and release leaders and to be a support to parents. His heart is to disciple youth in their faith, preparing them for the future and to reach the unreached youth in our community. He connects well with Petra’s beliefs and values and our emphasis on being a church of healing for broken people.

James has experienced deep brokenness in his life as a wayward youth and through the pain of a broken marriage. He has journeyed through deep waters, but with the help of pastors, mentors, and counselors, he has experienced God’s redeeming grace and deep healing in his life. Today he walks with a deep humility and desire to come alongside others who also need to experience God’s healing grace in their lives. The God of second chances is calling him back into ministry, and we are blessed to have him join our team and minister to our youth.

James will officially begin his work at Petra in mid- to late November.

Please contact Pastor Ken Reinford if you have any questions.


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