James T. Sims, Overseer

James T. Sims was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and raised in Hosston, Louisiana in rural Caddo Parish.

At age 14, James Sims was convinced that his father, the late Rev. Adolphus Sims, knew he was destined to walk in his shoes. James’ father was a Baptist minister that had pastored for over 45 years until his death. His father inspired James by telling him, “People are going to tell you that God has called you to preach, but when the Lord gets ready for you, He will let you know.” One night at a revival, God revealed to James Sims that he was called to preach the gospel.

In 1980, James Sims was ordained a deacon at St. Joseph Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Andrew Marshall, his pastor at the time. James served in several auxiliaries: Sunday School Superintendent, Church Treasurer, Deacon Board Secretary, Tenor (Choir) and Church Bus Driver.

His spiritual journey began in November 1981, when James Sims preached his first sermon, entitled “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved”, John 3:16. In November 1982, James Sims was ordained by Pastor Andrew Marshall. 

He was elected Pastor of Lake Zion Baptist Church in Belcher, Louisiana in November 1983 and officially installed in February 1984. In a leap of faith, he left his employer (VIP) in 1991 to devote his entire time to the ministry. By doing so, his household income was dramatically reduced. But James truly believed in God’s Word and plan for his life.

On May 24, 1994, Overseer Sims preached a sermon entitled, “Catch On To The Vision”, which led to a spiritual awakening and a new vision for Lake Zion. Under the leadership of Pastor Sims, Lake Zion Baptist Church has grown spiritually due to the addition of several programs. He has ordained several deacons and missionaries and membership has grown to well over 525 members!

James Sims attended and graduated from North Caddo High School in Vivian, Louisiana. He furthered his education by briefly attending Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Later, in 1985, he received his Bachelor of Theological Studies from the United Theological Seminary in Monroe, Louisiana. 

Overseer Sims is currently the Director of the Lake Zion Cemetery and Founder and Director of the Lake Zion Development Corporation. 

Overseer Sims is actively involved in his community and is affiliated with various organizations. He has served as Mayor of the Town of Oil City, Alderman for 20 years, Vice-President of the Caddo Ward II Industrial Development Board, Board Member of the Northwest LA Industrial Development Board and Chaplain for the Kilgore football team. He was the 2009 nominee for “Man of the Year Award” presented by the Vivian Chambers of Commerce in Vivian, Louisiana. He was awarded "2013 Outstanding Man of the Year" presented by the Vivian Chambers of Commerce, the first African American to receive this award. He is currently serving as the first African American Mayor of the town of Oil City, Louisiana.

Not only is Overseer Sims a dedicated spiritual leader, but a devoted family man. He’s married to the love of his life of over 50 years, Virginia Dale Robinson Sims. She gave him three (3) of the best sons in the world: Adolphus, and wife Shalanda; Jason, and wife Amelia, and Jeremy. 

Overseer Sims is the proud grandparent of 11 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.