Rev. Archie’s faith survives trialsSnyder native grew up in Midland church and has been at Odessa church for 8 1/2 years

The Rev. James Archie grew up going to a church pastored by his father, the late Rev. O.J. Archie, and he has been preaching since he was 11 years old.
Pastor of Freedom Missionary Baptist Church for 8 1/2 years, the Rev. Archie said one of the biggest days of his life came when he preached about John 3:16 at age 12 before 2,500 people in the Chaparral Center at Midland College.
“It was during a 1984 revival led by the Rev. Arthur Blessitt, who carried a cross with him everywhere he went,” the minister said. “We have to let people know that Jesus died and rose again for us to be able to have life. If they come to Jesus, he will provide them a way.”
Archie is a 48-year-old native of Snyder whose family moved to Midland in 1974 for his dad to become pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church.
He graduated from Midland High School in 1990, attended Midland College for two years and was a nursing aide and an intermediate mechanic for the Archrock natural gas compression company. He was the first African-American to be appointed the Chaparrals’ mascot “Pepe Paisano.”
Archie and his wife Alicia have five children, 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He has three brothers and four sisters. His late mother’s name was Blanche.
His 612 Jefferson Ave. church averages six to 10 people at 11 a.m. Sundays. “We’re small in numbers but big in love,” said Archie, a cousin of Rose of Sharon Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Windsor Archie.
He is a bi-vocational minister who owns a vehicle-detailing company with his brother-in-law, William Dawson, called Anointed Wash. “I like talking about church unity and being a good steward of what God gives us,” he said. “To be a good overseer of all the things he has provided for us, I have to express to God’s people that they have a job to do and a mission as well, which is to be witnesses and let the world know that God lives.
“Every Christian can be a minister because we all have a testimony,” Archie said. “We can tell the world about God and the experiences we have gone through. Live under the law of God and treat people the way we want to be treated.”
He said he hadn’t traveled an easy road himself. “I know what it is to live on the other side of not being a Christian,” he said.
“The Lord took me through some ups and downs that made me who I am today. My parents told me, ‘Son, we’re praying for you,’ and I believe it was through the prayers of my parents and other people that I made it to the point in my life where I am now.”
Archie’s lifelong friend Eric Hemphill said he “is naturally a warm and personable individual who is approachable and relatable to anyone.
“The burning desire and force in James’s life is his relationship with the Lord,” Hemphill said. “It all originated with his father and family, who were very genuine and tenured in their relationships with God.
“In a good way even as kids, we were immersed in memorizing the Bible and leading devotions. As an aspiring minister, James practiced in front of the congregation.”