James O'Connell has been a pastor since 1981, receiving his Masters of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary in Holland Michigan. He has served churches in New Jersey and Texas and is currently the pastor of First Reformed Church in Walden, NY. He came into ministry kicking and screaming but has found it to be rewarding and fulfilling. His background, before ministry includes acting, singing and structural ironwork, not the norm for many preparing for ministry. He is also currently a farming and poet. His approach to ministry and teaching is down to earth and practical, with a deep reverence for what these texts teach us about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, salvation, love, forgiveness and hope. He is found of saying, "in the end God wins."