James Albert Baker has been the pastor at Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church since 2014. Originally from Gretna, Fl., Baker came to Madison after his association, Middle Florida Georgia Primitive Baptist Association sent him.
Baker has been in the ministry for over 31 years; 27 of those years, he has been pastoring. He has pastored in many different places, including Atlanta, Gainesville, Thomasville and Cairo.
“I really didn't want to do this work but God led me to it,” said Baker. “When I look back, it's been a blessing to work in the ministry. I [put] what God has given me to use.”
Baker's main goals for his church are to unify the community churches, let the community know that Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist is here to help the community, reach out to the youth of the community and build spiritually, financially and collectively as a church. Baker states that many of those goals have been fulfilled; in fact, Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist has developed a program called “I'm My Brother's Keeper,” a group of men dedicated to mentoring the young men and boys of Madison County and its surrounding counties.
Baker also aims to stay true to Christ and reach out to others through ministry while at Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist.
He has been married to his wife, Barbara, for 16 years and together they have four children and seven grandchildren.
Baker's scriptures of choice include Psalm 23 and Matthew 28:19-20, which states Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Baker recites this scripture before he preaches.