James Akerson

Profile Updated: January 5, 2020
Residing In: Harrisonburg, VA USA
Spouse/Partner: Emily
Homepage: View Website
Occupation: Pastor
Children: Lars (1986) and Nels (1990).
Military Service: U.S. Peace corps - Liberia, W. Africa

I attended OSU and graduated in forest management. My career included two years in the Peace Corps - Liberia (forestry), 18 years with the BIA at Warm Springs IR and Portland area offices, then 16 years with Shenandoah National Park. We live in Harrisonburg, Virginia. For the last 8 years I've been the pastor of a small country church near Elkton, VA. It's Beldor Mennonite Church. I completed my DMin in 2018. My works amounts to about ¾-time, which feels about right for now.

Emily and I have been married 41 years. She continues her faculty position at James Madison University and clinical work as a nurse practitioner. Our sons give us real joy as we see them exploring the world and making sense of life. Emily and I would love to make contact with you by phone or together if you find yourself in Virginia. Blessings to you. Emily is very active with me in church visitation and leading Bible studies.

Our sons at one point were both more than 12 hours away. Now it's a little better. Nels and his wife are over the mountain in Charlottesville, home of UVa basketball. Lars, the older, is in Honduras serving in mission with our denomination. He's single.

We head to Salem/Jefferson every couple years to visit my sister Janice Wells. I'd love to look you up if you'd contact us. Feel free to come out to Virginia as well.

School Story:

The teachers I remember best are Mr. Grobe (math; so cool with an MG and golf clubs), Miss Barquist (biology; who said she could ID our forgeries, should we try it!), Mr. Johnson (band), and Mrs. Smith (French; who excused me from a second term because I wasn't making good enough headway!).

I loved playing trumpet in Judson marching band. From it, I was recruited into the Flamingoes Drum & Bugle Corps. I made so many friends there--from South and North. There were practices every week, first at a building in West Salem, then Elks Club downtown, and finally the Salem Armory and South Salem HS practice fields. We had competitions in Portland, Seattle, and even drove up to Nanaimo, British Columbia for their Victoria Day parade.

I attended Baker, McKinley, and Salem Heights elementaries, then Judson JH before going to South. After that sophomore year my family moved to Boise, ID for a year, and to Corvallis, OR my graduating year. Family fracturing was in those moves. Thankfully after two years of divorce, my parents were reconciled for the rest of their lives!

James' Latest Interactions

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James Akerson posted a message. New comment added.
May 27, 2020 at 3:55 PM

Posted on: May 27, 2020 at 3:08 PM

Happy co-birthday! And blessings.

James Akerson has a birthday today.
May 27, 2020 at 4:35 AM
James Akerson updated his profile. View.
Jan 05, 2020 at 2:57 PM
James Akerson has left an In Memory comment for Larry Scofield.
Jul 24, 2019 at 4:33 PM

Larry was a great trumpet player. Does anyone know if he kept that up? He was very bright and had a great smile and sense of humor.

James Akerson has left an In Memory comment for Rick Ahlbin.
Jul 21, 2019 at 8:33 PM

Rick rarely attended St. Mark's Lutheran but he was part of my confirmation class. I suppose we were 10-11 years old at the time. One Saturday morning he held his fist against his lips and pushed hard--something like straining to get a high note on a trumpet. When I asked him what he was doing, he told me, with his impish grin, that he wanted to show me some of the cigarette smoke he had from the previous night! 

Jul 09, 2019 at 3:19 PM

Hi there, Mike. I enjoy thinking of the many times we played after school in junior high. I see in your brief bio that you served in the Peace Corps. Me too, in Liberia, two years after you - I took my time getting through college. My folks moved us to Boise, then Corvallis during high school, hence I didn't graduate from South. They continued to live in Corvallis until their passings. My sister lives in the Jefferson area. I and my wife, Emily, have settled in Virginia. Blessings old friend.

James Akerson has left an In Memory comment for Sherry Black.
Jul 06, 2019 at 4:33 PM

In sixth grade at Salem Heights Elementary, Sherry was a shy, smiling presence. I liked her, and used to like teasing her about the Four Seasons pop song, "Sherry."

James Akerson has left an In Memory comment for Kent Bynum.
Jul 04, 2019 at 8:33 AM

It's so many years since I saw you, Kent. In those Judson JrHS days you went by Ken. In my yearbook, you signed your name to your photo but left no note on the fly sheets. You were shy that way. I liked your ways, Ken. Blessings. Rest in peace with our Lord.

James Akerson changed his "Then" picture.
Jul 03, 2019 at 2:07 PM
James Akerson posted a message.
Jun 11, 2019 at 9:46 AM

It was so very nice to meet with you this week, Rick. I look forward to more. God bless.

James Akerson changed his profile picture.
Jun 10, 2019 at 10:56 PM
James Akerson changed his "Now" picture.
Jun 10, 2019 at 10:56 PM
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Jun 10, 2019 at 10:55 PM
James Akerson added a photo to his profile gallery.
Jun 10, 2019 at 12:47 PM
2013 on the Big Island, HI.
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Posted: Jun 10, 2019 at 10:55 PM
2013 on the Big Island, HI.
Posted: Jun 10, 2019 at 10:55 PM