Reverend Dr. James Blassingame is a native of Seneca S.C. He is the Son of Deacon Luther Jr. and the late Juanita Blassingame; and the stepson of Bertha Blassingame. He is married to the former Shirley L. McFadden and they have three children, six grandchildren, one daughter-in-law and one son-in-law.
Reverend Blassingame attended East End Elementary and Blue Ridge High School. He is a 1970 graduate of Seneca High School. He attended Tri-County Technical College, Pendleton, S.C. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morris College, Sumter, SC and Bachelor of Divinity Degree from Morris College School of Religion, Sumter, SC. Continuing Education at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J., and a nine month internship in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) with the SC Department of Corrections where he provided pastoral care to inmates in a maximum security prison including those on Death Row. He also completed 30 hours of doctoral studies at Erskine Theological Seminary, Due West, SC.
Reverend Blassingame is licensed by Richland Baptist Church, Seneca, SC and ordained by Seneca River Missionary Baptist Association. He is the former Pastor of Thomas Heights Baptist Church, Seneca SC and New Olive Grove Baptist Church, Central, SC. Reverend Blassingame has pastored Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Sumter, SC since 1984. Through the grace of God and the ardent cooperation of the congregation, a new sanctuary costing almost one half million dollars was dedicated in 1991. A twenty year mortgage was liquidated in nine years. A new 17,000 square foot enrichment center costing over one million dollars was dedicated on September 24, 2011.
Reverend Blassingame is a member of the following boards: Morris College, Sumter, SC; (Secretary) National Baptist Convention, U.S.A. Inc. (Executive Committee); Conference of National Black Churches, Inc. ; Festival On The Avenue, Inc. ; YouthLink-S.C. ; and South Carolina School Improvement Council ; Sumter County Gallery of Art; Bank of Clarendon Sumter Advisory Board; Sumter Police Chief's Community Liason Council; Covenant Place of Sumter, Inc ; National Baptist Convention, USA. Inc. (Executive Committee); SC Schools Improvement Council; Bank of Clarendon Sumter Advisory Board, and Covenant Place of Sumter, Inc. He also serves on the Pee Dee Citizens Committee on Judicial Qualifications, (appointed by the South Carolina State Senate).
In grateful acknowledgement and appreciation of Reverend Blassingame's many contributions made to the church, community and to his alma mater, Morris College conferred upon him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity on May 13, 2000. He received the Mamie L. Duckett Founder's Day Award at Benedict College, March 11, 2006. Reverend Blassingame received several other honors and awards for service to humanity including induction into Morris College National Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
Reverend Blassingame's other noteworthy affiliations include:
Reverend Blassingame's Motto: "I see every challenge as an opportunity to prove what God can do."
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