The Rev. Dr. James Green Somerville is Pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church, a position he has held since May, 2008. Before that he served for eight years as Pastor of the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C. Jim holds a Master of Divinity in preaching and teaching and a Ph.D. in New Testament studies from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from Georgetown College, Kentucky, with a degree in Fine Art and before that from the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.
Jim’s articles and sermons have been published in a number of different journals including Christian Century, Lectionary Homiletics, and the Upper Room. He has preached on Day1 (formerly the Protestant Hour) and the Chicago-based 30 Good Minutes. The sermon he preached on the Sunday following September 11, 2001, was published in an anthology called Restoring Faith: America’s Religious Leaders Answer Terror with Hope (Walker & Company, New York).
In addition to his work as pastor, he is the Co-Founder of A Sermon for Every Sunday, an online resource featuring “Video sermons from America’s best preachers for every Sunday of the Liturgical Year” (www.asermonforeverysunday.com).
Dr. Somerville is one of six sons of a Presbyterian minister who took what amounted to a vow of poverty to live and work among the poor in Boone County, West Virginia. In those often challenging circumstances, Jim’s mother used her gift of storytelling to make the Bible come alive, and to inspire in her children a lasting love for God.
Jim is married to Christy Treadwell Somerville, who is a kindergarten teacher at St. Michael’s Episcopal School in Richmond. He has two daughters, Ellie and Catherine, who are happily married to brilliant and talented men.