Pastor Jim Sparks served North Avenue as Senior Pastor from September 1996 until his retirement in May 2013. During a special farewell service on May 26th of 2013, he was named “Pastor Emeritus” to honor his years of service to the North Avenue Church of God and the Battle Creek community.
Prior to joining the North Avenue staff, he served congregations in Munster, Indiana, Muskegon, Michigan, and Cassopolis, Michigan. Pastor Sparks holds a BA in Religion from Anderson University (IN), and a Masters in Counseling from Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, IL. He is a certified Teacher/Trainer with the Bethel Bible Series, Evangelism Explosion II, and Serendipity Small Group Dynamics.
He was a founding partner in Awakenings LLC, a private counseling ministry in northwest Indiana. He was a founding member of the Chaplaincy Services at West Virginia University Medical Center and of the Samaritan Center in Munster, IN. He has served on the Board of Directors, and chaired the General Assembly in the Church of God in Michigan. He has written numerous state and national position papers for the Church Of God and is a specialist in conflict resolution. Jim was ordained by the General Assembly of the Church of God in Indiana.
He has been married to Susan since August 23, 1969. He loves working with horses, reading history and hacking at golf.