James Donald Childs was born on September 26, 1930 to Blanche Aline Childs nee Irvin and Charles Edward Childs in Galatia, Illinois. He came to Christ as a young man at Harco Baptist Church and felt a calling for the ministry, in his teens he converted to the Apostolic faith. He was greatly blessed when he met Gladys Ethel Ballard who he married on his birthday in 1953. They were blessed with a boy the following year. Shortly after his marriage, James enlisted in the Army where he was deployed to Germany and served as medic. After the Army, he joined the Air Force where he was deployed to the Philippines and served as an airplane maintenance technician. While there, he realized that was where he was called to minister.
In 1966 James returned to the Philippines as a missionary with his family in tow. He served there until 2015 when he resigned his chairmanship of the Philippine Bible Apostolic Holiness Church, Inc., which he founded in 1985. He helped facilitate countless souls being led to Christ and had a hand in planting around 100 churches. At the time of his resignation, there were almost 30 churches in the organization as well as a Christian School and a Bible School. During the 1970s James and Ethel adopted two daughters from the Philippines.
He was a longtime member of the Apostolic Church in Wasson the times when he was in the U.S. While at the VA Hospice on January 30, 2020, his work was finally done. He was called home with his wife holding his hand, his granddaughter singing hymns and surrounded by family.
James was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Melvin, foster son Joshua, in-laws Nora Lea Svendrowski, Ellen Priesmeyer, Joe Ballard and their spouses, two nieces and a nephew Charlene, Shirley and Michael.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, his sister Virginia York, his children Daniel (Jill) Childs of Georgia, Maridy (Marcus) Tso of Illinois, and Rebecca (Anthony) Lyles of Connecticut, grandchildren James (Abi) Childs, Jennifer Childs of Georgia, Skai Tso and Seneca Tso of Galatia, great grandchildren Ballard, Bryson, Bowen, Kaelyn and Ellie of Georgia, 23 nieces and nephews, daughter of the heart Arlyne Cutamora and all in the Philippines who became family and call him “dad” and “Lolo.”
Funeral services will be held at 2 PM, Friday, February 7, 2020 at the Apostolic Church of Wasson in Harrisburg, Illinois. Rev. Pastor Nathan Prather will officiate and burial will follow in Brushy Creek Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 12 PM to 2 PM at the Apostolic Church of Wasson. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Benliw Christian School or Disabled American Veterans. Envelopes will be available at the church. Condolences may be left for the family on the obituary page at www.reedfuneralchapel.com.