Pastor James A. Maye was born October 15, 1942, in Farmville, North Carolina. He is one of three children and the only son born to Sadie and William, now deceased. His two sisters are Hazel (now deceased) and Leila. He committed himself to the Lord, Jesus Christ, while in his youth.

He graduated from H. B. Sugg High School in Farmville in 1961. While in high school, Pastor Maye was president of the student government, vice president of his senior class, and editor in chief of his high school newspaper and yearbook.

After graduation, Pastor Maye attended Shaw University on an academic scholarship. He served as class representative to the student government and the Committee on Chapel and Religious Life; was president of the Student Christian Association; vice president of the Baptist Student Union; and chair of the Student Adjustment Committee.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in religion with a minor in social studies in 1965.

Pastor Maye received a one-year scholarship to study at Oberlin Graduate School of Theology in Oberlin, Ohio. While at Oberlin, he served as assistant minister of the Wadsworth and Wilson Methodist churches in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1966, he became a chaplain intern at Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, Missouri, and received a certificate in pastoral counseling.

From 1966 to 1968, he attended Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in theology. In Nashville, he served as minister of youth at Edge hill Methodist Church.

Pastor Maye worked as a juvenile probation officer for the First District of the State of Connecticut from August 1968 to October 1976. During that time, he also worked with the personnel department of the State of Connecticut, developing examinations for juvenile probation officers.

He completed training for Parent Effectiveness Training under Dr. Thomas Gordon and Associates. He has also had training in Transaction Analysis. Pastor Maye worked as a counselor for drug abusers at the Hope Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, as well as a special education teacher for the Bridgeport School System.

He has held numerous positions in the ministry at the local and national level. Among his positions include serving as junior deacon at Bible way Church, North Carolina; state Sunday school superintendent, North Carolina; state ABYPU president, Connecticut; associate minister at Little Zion Church, Connecticut; vice chair of the International Board of Presbyters, COOLJC; vice president of the ABYPU; international ABYPU president; president of the International Youth Council, COOLJC; international financial secretary, COOLJC; treasurer of the International Board of Junior Bishops; administrative assistant to the International Board of Bishops; international youth advisor; assistant diocesan bishop for the state of Ohio; executive assistant to the apostle to the youth; and vice chair of the International Catechism Committee.

On June 22, 1974, Pastor Maye married the former Florence L. Johnson of Richmond, Virginia. The couple has four children, Andre, Alana, Javon, and Keonya. The family lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

In October 1976, then a young assistant minister of Little Zion Church of Christ, he moved his family to Cleveland where he became pastor of Pilgrim Church of Christ. His formal installation service was held on February 20, 1977.

Since moving to Greater Cleveland, he has been instrumental in initiating many innovative programs that focus on leadership training and outreach, ministerial associations, and neighborhood partnerships to meet the needs of his congregation and the surrounding areas. Some of them include being co-founder and administrator of Calvary Center Academy; president of the Cleveland Apostolic Ministerial Fellowship; co-founder of Clergy Organized for Drug Extinction; and vice chair of One Church-One Child, an effort to find adoptive Christian homes for children and teens.

In 1991, Bishop William L. Bonner, chief apostle for the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc., appointed Pastor Maye to the Junior Board of Bishops. On August 8, 1996, he was elevated to bishop during a consecration and installation service at the organization’s international convention in Columbia, South Carolina. Bishop Maye was appointed the diocesan bishop for the state of Ohio in 2003. On August 11, 2005, he was elected to the Board of Apostles and appointed apostle of region VI.

His most recent appointments include being the named the Apostle for the Youth of COOLJC and parliamentarian for the Board of Apostles.

He has continued his work in support of church leadership. He established a statewide Leadership Development Conference in 2008, an annual day long conference offering training in various aspects of the ministry. In 2009, he formed a partnership with local social service agencies to create a No Child Left Behind tutoring program for children in grades one to seven.

He is looking for “miracle growth” within the Pilgrim congregation and wants members and friends to be more proactive in the community, in keeping with the church’s longtime theme: “People Reaching People. Every child a soul winner.”