Virginia Conference United Methodist Church

James Pass McDade, 1919-1991

James Pass "Jim" McDade was a native of Cedar Grove, Orange County, North Carolina. His parents were John C. McDade and Ellie McAdams McDade. Until the time of his death, Jim enjoyed returning to that area to visit with friends and relatives and to the farm where he was raised.

Across the years of his life Jim developed a very strong sense of responsibility and a desire to do his very best. These traits came early in his life with attendance at Aycock High School and Elon College, and later in his service career at Chicago Technical Institute and even later, at Duke University Divinity School.

As the country he loved faced some grave world conditions Jim enlisted in the United States Navy in 1941. This area of responsibility opened up a career that would continue for 22 years. He found success not only in the work assigned to him, but he was noted among his colleagues for his counsel and caring spirit. He retired from his Navy career in 1961 as a Chief Petty Officer.

Even while Jim attended college he had given notice of his commitment and calling to serve and assist in the work of the local church. While in college he served as a lay speaker in churches near Elon College. And now with his retirement from his Navy career, Jim returned to his calling to fulfill service in the local church. With the recommendation of his local church, Central United Methodist Church, Jim returned to complete educational requirements at Duke Divinity School and he was ordained deacon in 1965 by Bishop Gum, and in 1971, he was ordained elder by Bishop Cannon, and admitted to full connection by the Virginia Annual Conference.

Jim and his beloved wife, Virginia Adele Scott McDade, whom he married in 1955, served with faithful devotion the following appointments: Wayne Hills/Oak Hills; Collierstown/Mt. Horeb; Mount Carmel; Mount Olivet; St. James/West Augusta; Selma. During these years he also served as a conference statistician.

In 1981, with increasing problems of personal health, Jim retired and returned to live in Clifton Forge, Virginia. As long as he had strength to share, he assisted in the services and Sunday school of Central United Methodist Church, and in the pastoral care of a number of neighboring churches. And his friendship would include an early morning call to the office of the writer to express his love and support. Jim was welcomed home by the Lord on June 30, 1991, and his memorial service was held at Central United Methodist Church with the Rev. James Holloman and the Rev. William O. Webster as the worship leaders.

-William O. Webster