Pastor Asaph James and Mrs. Ashima James

 

Asaph James is Pastor of the East Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Detroit, Michigan. Asaph is married to Ashima and they have two adult sons Adam and Andrew.

 

Read more about Pastor James.

Service Time and Location

Service Time 

Sundays, 10 AM

Bible Study

Wed 10:30 -Noon  E.B. facility

Location

3510 E. Outer Drive

Detroit, Michigan 48234

313.892.2670

What We Believe

 

Mission Statement: We are the hands and feet of Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the Word of Christ.

Read more about what East Bethlehem Lutheran believes:

 About Us 

 Meet Pastor James 

Meet Pastor Asaph James. Besides his full time pastorial ministry at East Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Detroit, he also leads a weekly Bible study in Urdu at the Faith Lutheran Church, in Troy, Michigan for people from Pakistan and India. Asaph is married to Ashima and they have two adult sons Adam and Andrew. To find out more about Pastor James and how he came to be Pastor at East Bethelehem Lutheran Church, please read Pastor James biography, in his own words, below.

I was educated in Lahore, Pakistan and I obtained a B.Sc. from the Forman Christian College, Lahore. I was blessed to come from a Christian family, and although I can't give a specific date for a personal faith in Jesus Christ, I know for sure that the Lord Jesus Christ has always loved me and His faithfulness and love has carried me all the years of my life. My parents had the strongest influence on me where my faith in Christ is concerned. They were an example for me and my siblings. We sat under the Word as children and often saw my parents reading the Bible and praying. Sometimes, upon waking in the middle of the night, I could see my mother sitting on her bed praying. My grandfather, who was a retired pastor, would start and finish the day by going for a walk and then would read the scriptures and pray. He was the one who taught me to sing the Psalms in my mother tongue, Punjabi.

Then God sent to Lahore a very special couple who had a profound impact on all the members of my family – Padre Sidney and Mrs. Millie Iggulden. Padre Iggulden, through prayer, perseverance and the power of the Holy Spirit, poured out his life for the youth at St. Andrew’s. It was there that Pastor Iggulden trained us to do evangelistic outreach, and while still in our teens, trained us for the Jail and Healing Ministries.

 

My work in the ministry has been varied and eye opening, but included United Presbyterian Church Office; Pakistan Fellowship of Evangelical Students (PFES); in Karachi, then back to Lahore. Since Christians were not permitted to broadcast Christian programs from within Pakistan, there were studios in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Rawalpindi, producing programs to be broadcast from the Seychelles Islands. I was hired to listen to the Urdu programs and make sure the contents were true to the Scriptures. Later I was an assistant coordinator of the Far East Broadcasting Association (FEBA) in Islamabad, Rawalpindi. While living there I met and married Ashima.
 

From 1985-1996 I became Administrative/Translator for the Defense Attaché’s Office at the US Embassy in Islamabad then migrated to Windsor, Canada. After an unsuccessful business endeavor, I spent two years working on the assembly line in a seat belt factory. God works in mysterious ways. and I thank Him that my wife Ashima found a church close to our home where there was a loving group of people. We began attending church services there.

In 2002, I became a missionary on a two year contract with the People of the Book Lutheran Outreach (POBLO) in Toledo, Ohio. When my contract was about to finish, I was travelling towards Toledo and the sun was just coming over the horizon. I began praying, “Lord, where do I go from here?” The answer, was as clear as the writing on the wall. It came to me: “This is it. You are to serve me for the rest of your life.”

August through November 2002, Our Saviour Lutheran Church gave me 20 hours per week working for its Project Compassion in the nursing homes in the Detroit, Michigan area. In the meantime, I joined a program at the Concordia (Lutheran) Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri which would lead to a pastoral degree online. It was known as DELTO (Distance Education Leading Towards Ordination). Due to my wife and younger son’s illnesses, I could not continue with this program.

While I was working for Our Saviour and Project Compassion I was asked to bring God’s Word to East Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Detroit, Michigan. A month later, I was invited again to preach at the church. After the service, some of the board members and the chairman asked me if I would like to become their pastor. They invited me to their board meeting the coming week. When I entered the board meeting, I found that my mentor from the DELTO program was there. He happened to be the Circuit Counselor. A representative from the District President’s office was also there. They extended a call to me to become their pastor. Here I was with no formal seminary education and being asked to become a pastor of a German and African American congregation. Surely this was the Lord’s doing. I accepted. Thus, I became a pastor in November 2002.

In 2008, I completed the online program for ordination through Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology offered through Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MI.  By November of 2008, I was ordained and officially installed as pastor of East Bethlehem Lutheran Church. From 2013-2019 I took an Urdu Bible Study at Faith Lutheran Church, Troy, Michigan.  Which was geared towards people from Pakistan and India.

As I reflect on how the Lord has led me through life, all I can say is that it is extremely important that every child born to Christian parents have their faith firmly grounded in Christ. “On Christ the solid ground I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.” The greatest lesson I learned from my parents and the different people that the Lord brought into my life, whether they had a positive or a negative influence, is that the Lord is in control and He was and is preparing me to fulfill His purposes. But I especially thank God and remember Padre Iggulden when I read Bible verses such as, “Therefore I urge you to imitate me, and Timothy will remind you of my way of life in Christ”( 1 Corinthians 4:16-17 ) and “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7). Padre Iggulden really was someone with a faith worth imitating.

 
 

 What We Believe 

We Believe:

  • God is three persons in one: the Father, who created and sustains the world; the Son, who lived as a human being, died, and rose from the dead; and the Holy Spirit who works God's will in the world. (Matthew 28:18-21)

  • The Bible is the infallible word of God, spoken through human writers. It is the sole authority, guide and standard for all that we do. (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16- 17)

  • Sin exists in every person. It is the cause of the bad things people do to each other. (Romans 5:12, 18-19)

  • Everyone will have existence after death - either in heaven or hell - forever and without end. God has a plan to end the world, when He will judge everyone - both the living and the dead. (Matthew 25:31-46)

  • We believe in the sign of the cross. It is a symbol used by all Christians. The cross symbolizes the terrible death that Jesus suffered as punishment for our sins. The empty cross is a symbol of Jesus' victory over sin and death. (Colossians 2:13-15)

We Believe In:

  • God is three persons in one: the Father, who created and sustains the world; the Son, who lived as a human being, died, and rose from the dead; and the Holy Spirit who works God's will in the world. (Matthew 28:18-21)

  • The Bible is the infallible word of God, spoken through human writers. It is the sole authority, guide and standard for all that we do. (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16- 17)

  • Sin exists in every person. It is the cause of the bad things people do to each other. (Romans 5:12, 18-19)

  • Everyone will have existence after death - either in heaven or hell - forever and without end. God has a plan to end the world, when He will judge everyone - both the living and the dead. (Matthew 25:31-46)

  • We believe in the sign of the cross. It is a symbol used by all Christians. The cross symbolizes the terrible death that Jesus suffered as punishment for our sins. The empty cross is a symbol of Jesus' victory over sin and death. (Colossians 2:13-15)

We Believe That:

  • God is three persons in one: the Father, who created and sustains the world; the Son, who lived as a human being, died, and rose from the dead; and the Holy Spirit who works God's will in the world. (Matthew 28:18-21)

  • The Bible is the infallible word of God, spoken through human writers. It is the sole authority, guide and standard for all that we do. (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16- 17)

  • Sin exists in every person. It is the cause of the bad things people do to each other. (Romans 5:12, 18-19)

  • Everyone will have existence after death - either in heaven or hell - forever and without end. God has a plan to end the world, when He will judge everyone - both the living and the dead. (Matthew 25:31-46)

  • We believe in the sign of the cross. It is a symbol used by all Christians. The cross symbolizes the terrible death that Jesus suffered as punishment for our sins. The empty cross is a symbol of Jesus' victory over sin and death. (Colossians 2:13-15)

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