JAMES EDWARD SANDY
James Edward Sandy was born in Crittenden County, near Earle, Arkansas on February 4, 1944 to William and Leola Sandy. He was the seventh of eight children born in this share-cropping farm family. His father and mother left farming when he was ten years old and moved to Chicago, IL where his father went to work for an oil company. After a short period of time the family moved back to Arkansas and settled in West Memphis where James would graduate from West Memphis High School.
His family was not a church attending family and James was nineteen when his father and mother started attending the First United Pentecostal Church in West Memphis. It was here that James went to the altar on August 17, 1963 during a revival conducted by Evangelist Charles Webb and was baptized in Jesus Name the next day by Pastor H. D. Hansbro and received the Holy Ghost baptism a few nights later.
James immediately became involved in the local church and about one year later, he received his call into the ministry and began preparing to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ while under Pastor N. E. Hosch. Then on March 12, 1965, he married Patricia Dale Finklea. Then on January 12, 1966 James and Patricia had their first child, a son named James Jr. (Eddy) and a few months later they moved to Tupelo, Mississippi to attend Pentecostal Bible Institute. He attended PBI for two years and then moved to Houston, Texas where he would complete the final two years of college attending Texas Bible College School of Theology where he graduated with highest honors with a Bachelor of Theology Degree.
In Houston, the Sandy's connected with Stonewall Pentecostal Church pastored by Brother O. W. Williams. Brother Williams had such a positive effect on their lives and they stayed in Houston for a while after graduation, working under Brother Williams and seeking God’s direction for their future. After much prayer, they felt the Lord leading them to the Memphis area to start a church in Southaven, Mississippi. Their church planting goal was achieved on June 16, 1972, when they pioneered Heritage Christian Life Center where they would remain for the next 45 years. During their years in Southaven, Brother and Sister Sandy had two more children: Paula Sandy Smith and Stephen Joel Sandy along with seven grandchildren.
Brother and Sister Sandy served the Mississippi District in various capacities over a period of 40 years. Sister Sandy was Ladies Ministry Secretary for 13 years and Brother Sandy served as Section Three Home Missions Director, Section Three Secretary, Section Three Youth Director, Section Three Sunday School Director as well as Section Three Presbyter for 31 consecutive years. Also, he was Mississippi District Foreign Missions Director for 4 years, District Planning and Development chairman for 4 years, Ministers Licensing Teacher for 17 years, and District Superintendent for two years. Also, he served on the Board of Tupelo Children’s Mansion.
The United Pentecostal Church International recognized Brother Sandy for 50 years of ministry on August 16, 2014. During those 50 years, he was a pastor also preaching revivals, special church events, Camp Meetings, District Conferences, many church dedications in the U. S. and abroad, numerous pastoral installations, and several conferences in such places as Panama, Mexico, Dominican Republic and across the United States. He also hosted several Holy Land trips and ministered in Israel and Holland.
During the Katrina Hurricane, Brother Sandy was co-leader for the Mississippi relief effort under Compassion Services International and later along with Brothers Nations and Hill founded the relief organization called Outreach Services International which is still very viable in relief efforts in Mississippi and the southeastern United States.
Brother James E. Sandy is now retired as pastor, but is still going strong in the work of God, preaching in over 13 different churches in the past few months. I trust that it shall be said of him as it was of King David, “…he had served his own generation by the will of God…” (Act 13:36). A man after God’s own heart!