James E. Carney was born in Copiah County, near Wesson, MS, on December 3, 1947 while his dad Reverend Earl Carney was pastor at Springhill UPC near Wesson, Mississippi.


Reverend Earl Carney served as the second pastor at Springhill UPC and was married to Grace Alexander; they had six children: Charley Ray, Donald Earl, Maxine, Judith, Annie Rose and James.


Under Reverend Earl Carney’s pastor ship at Springhill, the members of the church added white asbestos siding, sealed the inside of the church, installed new floor to cover the sub-flooring and added electric lighting to the church. He served as pastor at Springhill from 1945 until May 1948. At such time in 1948, he was called to pastor at New Hope Pentecostal Church, New Hebron, MS from 1948-1950.  God then moved Reverend Earl Carney and family to State Line UPC south of Tylertown, Mississippi where he pastored from 1950-1977.


James grew up at State Line received the Holy Ghost at the age of eight in April 1956 at the State Line UPC where his dad pastored. He attended Tylertown High School, received an Associate of Business Degree from Southwest Community College, and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.


From an early age he was very active in church work as his dad was his pastor. However, in 1985, he answered the call of God and began his ministry.


James received License with UPCI in 1986 in the Mississippi District and was

ordained by Bishop G.R. Travis.


His first pastorate was at Woodlawn UPC in Columbia, MS in February 1987. He served as Pastor until November 2013 when he transitioned to Bishop upon the election of his son Jerron as Lead Pastor.


James Carney and Jean Hickman were married on May 31, 1968. She was the daughter of Reverend Bobby Hickman and Mae Rushing Hickman. Her grandparents were Reverend Dexter Rushing and Grace Wallace Rushing.


From their blessed union, Rev. and Mrs. James Carney brought into this world two sons: Jay and Jerron, and currently have six grandchildren.


Jay married Demetra Wallace and they have three children Jayda, Jayce and Juliana.

Jerron married Holly Peoples and they have three children Jane Claire, Jack and Everly June.


Bishop James Carney the father of two, husband to one, has been a pastor and mentor to thousands. For 26 years, Bishop Carney served as Lead Pastor of Woodlawn Church in Columbia, MS. In November of 2013 he transitioned into the role of Bishop, when his son, Jerron Carney, was elected as Lead Pastor. Bishop Carney’s ministry has been marked with excellence and honor.  He served the Mississippi District UPCI as District Superintendent from 2003-2007. 


It was during his second year as District Superintendent of the MS District the great and deadly hurricane named Katrina ripped through the MS Gulf Coast in 2005 leaving many of the Mississippi UPC churches in great disarray. Compassion Services International (CSI) came to Mississippi’s rescue by assisting with personnel and funds. Global Missions Director Bruce Howell and Compassion Ministries Director G. R. Travis offered immediate help in the several weeks following. However as other pressing issues became apparent, CSI left the Gulf Coast and the demolished UPC churches in the hands of District Superintendent James Carney. For the next several years he and his appointed disaster relief committee worked with each pastor to assure that their needs were met. It was a trying time for the leadership of the MS District of the UPCI, but under the leadership of James Carney all these needs were met.


Bishop Carney serves as Section 10 Presbyter on the Mississippi District Board of the UPCI since 2008. Bishop Carney is presently Chairman of the Budget Committee of the Tupelo Children’s Mansion and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Lighthouse Ranch for Boys. He has served as a Director since inception of the UPCI Loan Funds and serves on the Loan Committee and the Loan Delinquency Committee with the oversight of 65 million dollars in loans to UPCI churches throughout the U.S. and Canada.


He previously served on the Board of Directors for Gateway College of Evangelism, Jackson College of Ministries and State Director of Harvesttime Radio Ministries. Also, he was a cost analyst for International Paper Company from 1969-1974 and General Manager and Secretary/Treasurer for T. L. Wallace Construction, Inc. from 1974-1989, when he became Pastor of Woodlawn UPC.