Pastor James L. ‘Jim’ Downey


Pastor James L. “Jim” Downey, 65, of Evansville, passed away Monday, July 6, 2015, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Born April 14, 1950, he was the son of Robert and Dorothy Price Downey, both of whom preceded him in death. He married DeAnna Hughes on Dec. 12, 1970.

Jim served 26 years as a pastor. Since 2000, he and his wife were North American Mission Board-appointed missionaries. He served as director of missions for the East Central Baptist Association in Indiana; and before retiring at the end of 2011 from the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, he was the church planter strategist for the Southern Region of Indiana. Though “officially” retired from the State Convention, he has done a number of “intentional interims” helping the churches as they sought new pastors.

Jim has been active in Indiana’s Disaster Relief, helped coordinate World Changers in Muncie for nine years and has been a church planting pastor — starting two Hispanic congregations in Indiana and helping numerous church plants throughout Indiana get started. Jim and DeAnna have taken several missions trips to Mexico, Guatemala and Africa, and Jim has had a long-term mission work going on in Susab, Haiti, since 1997. His wife is fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language and is currently retired from teaching in both public and private Christian schools.

His denominational activities include serving as president for Indiana’s Pastors Conference, serving as first vice president for both the Ohio State Convention and the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, trustee to Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary from 1995 to 2005, trustee at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, served on the state executive boards in both Ohio and Indiana, directed and taught for Oklahoma Baptist University Extension in Indiana — teaching several counseling and church history courses; and teaching for Boyce Bible College Extension in Ohio for several years.

Jim received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and a Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He was licensed by Rosedale Baptist Church in Fort Branch in 1973 and ordained by Shoals Baptist Church in Shoals in 1975.

Survivors include two grown sons, John Eric (Melissa) Downey and Bradley Downey, who served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps with a tour of duty in Iraq; a brother, James Patrick Downey; two sisters, Connie (Eugene) Gilbert and Janelle (Larry) Wagoner; and four grandchildren, Abi, Mady, Eli and Tali.

Besides his parents, Jim was preceded in death by a sister, Dorothy Winberry.

The funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Calvary Baptist Church in Seymour, with the Rev. John Rogers and the Rev. Mark Hearn officiating. Burial will follow at 3 p.m. CDT time at Oak Hill Cemetery in Evansville.

Friends and family may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. until time of service Friday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church and Faith of Rebecca’s Orphanage.

No posts to display