Rev. James W. Moss, Sr. Profile Photo

Rev. James W. Moss, Sr.

October 10, 1940 — March 4, 2024

Harrisburg, PA

Rev. James W. Moss, Sr.

James W. Moss, Sr. died peacefully on March 4, 2024 in the Harrisburg Hospital.  Jim was the youngest son of Levi and Daisey Moss.  He was born and raised in Frederick, Maryland, growing up on West Patrick Street.  He had a love of sports and played baseball and football as a kid.  He began working at the age of 12, delivering newspapers.  He also got a job working at a local motel cleaning rooms until he went off to college.  

Jim graduated from Frederick High School in 1958.  He was the first member of his family to attend college.  He graduated from Findlay College in 1962.  At the age of 7, Jim felt very strongly that he had been called to pastoral ministry, so he enrolled in Winebrenner Theological Seminary, graduating in 1965 with a Master of Divinity degree.

While in college, Jim met Gwendolyn Deiss, and a relationship developed.  The two were married and quickly started their family.  They had five kids: Jim Jr., John, Greg, Stephanie, and Rebekah.  

Jim served as a local church pastor beginning at the age of 19, filling that role for 18 years.  He had a very productive ministry, and every church he served grew under his leadership.  He served the following congregations:

            Jackson Bethel Church of God, Hoytville, Ohio – 1958-1961

            Mt. Pleasant Church of God, Mt. Victory, Ohio – 1961-1964

            Ohio City Church of God, Ohio City, Ohio – 1964-1967

            Westminster First Church of God, Westminster, Maryland – 1968-1973

            Carrolton Church of God, Finksburg, Maryland – 1968-1977 

After 18 years of local church ministry, Jim became a conference executive, serving as the Assistant to the Superintendent of the East Pennsylvania Conference.  His job title changed several times during his tenure, but he served in that role until his retirement in 2005.  Jim stayed on after retirement on an interim basis until the new Executive Director had hired his staff.  

At each stop along the way, people recognized Jim’s leadership qualities, and he held various leadership positions.  In Ohio he was chairman of the Lay Activities Committee, a member of the Executive Committee, and the Secretary of the Conference.  In Maryland he served as the Vice President and then the President of the Conference.  And in East Pennsylvania (later renamed the Eastern Region) he served on staff from 1977 until 2005, and part-time until 2008.  He had responsibilities for Christian Education, Youth Ministries, Church Renewal, and Church Planting.  At the denominational level, he was a delegate at 13 triennial sessions.  He served as a commission chairman on two separate occasions.  He was a member of the General Conference Administrative Council and the Executive Committee.  Jim was also a part-time General Conference staff person with responsibilities in church planting.

Jim won two awards that were important to him.  He was recognized as Alumni of the Year at Winebrenner Seminary, and he also received the Apostle Paul award for his efforts in church planting.

As a part of his responsibilities as a conference staff person, Jim conducted an extensive research project that led to the development of his People Spots workshop and his book with the same title.  He was the closest thing to a church growth expert we had in our denomination.  The quality of Jim’s work was widely recognized by others and led to his speaking in 20 different denominations and in 22 different states.  He was hired as a consultant often and helped many congregations change the trajectory of their future.  Each of the largest churches in the region can trace the origins of their growth to time spent learning from Jim.

In addition to the People Spots book, Jim wrote several other books:

            Does Your Church Care About People

            Returning to Our First Love

            35,000 by 2,000 (A strategy for denominational growth)

            Starting a New Service

            Churches Have Personalities

            A Christian Perspective on Leadership

            A History of the Civil War as Presented by the Church Advocate

            S.J. Montgomery, Faithful Servant 

Jim is survived by his children, 5 grandkids; Jay, Tiffany, Madison, Natalie, and Tyler; four great-grandkids, Asher, Oliver, Eloise, and Clara; and a sister Helen.

Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Friday, March 8, 2024 in Eberly’s Mill Church of God, 115 Creek Rd. Camp Hill, PA 17011 with the Rev. Anthony Zumbo officiating.  Viewing will be held two hours prior to service time Friday in the church.  Burial will be in Locust Valley Bible Church Cemetery, Frederick, MD.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial contributions in Pastor Moss’s memory to Eastern Regional Conference designated for church planting.

To send messages of condolence or for driving directions, please visit 

Past Services


Friday, March 8, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Eberly's Mill Church of God

115 Creek Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 8, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Eberly's Mill Church of God

115 Creek Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011

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Friday, March 8, 2024

2:00 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Locust Valley Bible Church Cemetery

1323 Marker Rd., Middletown, MD 21769

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