Pastor James DeCoster

Executive Pastor

Pastor James DeCoster is a native of Kingstree, SC, and one of 13 children born to parents, Elder Willie DeCoster and Gussie DeCoster.   A husband, father, and grandfather, he resides in Glenn Dale, MD, with wife Tijuanna of 35 years.

Pastor DeCoster accepted Jesus Christ at a young age growing up in South Carolina and enjoyed serving in and supporting his church’s youth and young adult ministries.  He was licensed and ordained as a Minister of the Gospel in 1999 by the late Rev. Richard Johnson, 3rd, and appointed to the Office of Pastoral Assistant in 2001 by Dr. Karen V. Johnson.

Pastor DeCoster has been a member of First Christian since 1998.  He currently serves as our Executive Pastor and ensures FC3’s operational readiness through leadership and oversight of the support and contract staff whose duties range from administration, finance, human resources, facilities management, and property management.  He works collaboratively with the Senior Pastor and church leadership to establish agendas, chairs and facilitates the Board of Stewards and church-wide business meetings.  He also serves as FC3’s spokesperson to local and external communities.

Prior to his appointment as Executive Pastor, Pastor DeCoster held several leadership positions at First Christian.  In addition to his role as Board of Stewards Chair since 2015, he has served as the Service and Worship Council Chair, Isaiah Ministry Unit Leader, and Youth Ministry Leader to Samuel Youth, Distinguished Gents, and Potter’s Youth Ministry.

Prior to attending First Christian, Pastor DeCoster held various leadership positions at Greater Church of Deliverance in Capitol Heights, MD, and The Bibleway Church of Atlas Road, Columbia, SC.  These positions included Head of Men’s Ministry, Chairman of the Deacon Board, and Head of Finance Ministry.
Pastor DeCoster earned his undergraduate degree in Management Science from the University of South Carolina, and a Dual Master Degree in Business Administration and Computer Resources Management from Webster University.  He was employed for 43+ years in combined military and federal service retiring in 2021 as a senior federal executive with the Department of Treasury, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
- Lamentations 3:22-23