Jim Byrd was born in 1951 and spent his earliest years in Bassett, Virginia. His parents became religious when he was a young boy and took him to a freewill, Arminian church where, at age six, he walked the aisle and made his decision to believe and follow what he later learned was a false Jesus. His dad became a pastor in 1963 and moved his family to Rocky Mount, Virginia. Jim continued to be active in that church throughout his youth. He started working at a church camp and conducting bible studies for other young people as a teenager. It was at this camp, in 1967, that he met Nancy Wright. They were married August 2, 1969.
The newlyweds immediately moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina where Jim attended Piedmont Bible College. It was in college that he was introduced to the five points of Calvinism. In 1972 he was excommunicated from the college because he refused to sign a document stating he believed in universal redemption. At that time, he was assisting the pastor of a church in Winston-Salem, where he was confronted with the true gospel of God’s saving grace. For the first time in his life he heard and was made to rejoice in the message that “grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” He was confronted with the good news that the Lord is a “just God and a Savior,” through the substitutionary, sacrificial death of Christ, by which divine justice was satisfied, the sins of His people were put away and everlasting righteousness was brought in.
In 1975, Jim entered the pastorate. His father died after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer, but shortly before his death he informed his younger son that God had taught him the gospel. He regretted never having had an opportunity to proclaim the truth to his congregation. He told Jim he believed the Lord would open the door for him to preach the gospel from his pulpit. After preaching his dad’s funeral, that church did indeed call Jim as pastor. By the effectual grace of God the Holy Spirit, the church was converted from free-willism to a congregation that loved the message of sovereign grace. Fourteen years later, the Lord moved Jim to pastor in Louisiana, then in Kentucky and later in east Texas. Since May of 1996, he has been the pastor of First Baptist Church of Almont, Michigan.
Jim’s wife Nancy is a fourth grade school teacher. They have two children and five grandchildren. Jim is thankful for the wonderful privilege God has given him to proclaim the message of redemption accomplished by the cross-death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.