TWINEM, Pastor James (“Jim”) (1933-2022)
It is with both sadness and gratitude that the family of James Twinem marks his passing from this world into eternity with his Lord. James was born in Portadown, Northern Ireland, to John and Mary Twinem, on February 25, 1933, and he had one older sister, Noreen (deceased). He grew up at Tarson Lane, on the farm, and learned a love for farming and growing things there that would never leave him. At 15 he completed high school and shortly after, began his apprenticeship as a carpenter. This trade also would be a constant in his life. Additionally, he enjoyed sports, and became a champion cyclist for his town’s cycle club. At 19, James emigrated to Canada to begin a new life, after his farm was expropriated, and there, the witness of both his employer, Claire Laing, and of his cousin, Wilbur Caddell, led him to confront “the most important decision of his life”—whether he would trust and follow Jesus Christ.
When Jim came to Christ, this became the shaping influence of his life and days from that point on. He took evening Bible institute courses, then entered London Bible Institute in 1955. He graduated from LBI in 1959 with his Bachelor of Religious Education. While at school in London, he made “the second most important decision of his life, and it was shaped by the first”. He met, courted and married Mary Louise Smith, a young school teacher from St. John, New Brunswick, who was attending LBI to do a Bible diploma course.
After Jim’s graduation, the Twinems moved to Courtland, Ontario where Jim began ministry at Fellowship Baptist Church and Mary taught in local schools. He ministered faithfully at the church for 39 years, and over that time, led the congregation to build a new building. His own experience in the trades allowed him to contribute significantly to the physical building process. He was able to use his abilities to serve many, through the years, as he built not only his own homes, but also bricked homes for a number of people, built changerooms and washrooms for local sports facilities, and re-shingled any number of people’s homes, all gratis. James was committed to the people of Courtland, and he prayed for his community every day. He also opened his arms and welcomed people into the community. As a result, he has a number of “adopted” Vietnamese sons. They came as refugees and he and Mary became their honorary parents.
Inside the church, he preached God’s Word faithfully, was used by God to lead many to Christ and had the privilege of seeing some of those people go on to full time ministry themselves.
After his retirement, he continued to preach, teach and minister for as long as health allowed, while also gardening, working in the woods, and helping with building projects where he could. In decline, he continued to trust in the goodness and faithful provision of the Lord who had saved him and provided for him, and he continually expressed deep gratitude for the kindness and generosity of God to Him, both in the wife God had provided and in the outflow of his life. On June 29, 2022, Jim Twinem went to be with His Lord.
James is survived by his wife Mary, his four children, Mary Beth (Felix), John (Jo-Anne), Stephen (Lisa) and Dan (Julie), as well as by seventeen grandchildren and fifteen great- grandchildren (and counting!). We sorrow, but are thankful for the love and faithfulness he showed to His Lord and to his family, and for his deliberate commitment to thoughtfully, sincerely live for Christ in every area of his life.
In keeping with Jim’s expressed wishes, a public Funeral Service was held in the Maurice J. Verhoeve Funeral Homes Chapel, 262 Broadway, Tillsonburg, on Monday, July 4th, 2022, at 2:00 p.m., led by his sons Pastor John and Pastor Stephen. A livestream was offered for those unable to attend. A memorial video has been posted on Jim’s online tribute page at www.verhoevefuneralhomes.com under photos and videos. Interment followed in the Courtland Baptist Cemetery. Following Burial, all attendees were invited to attend a reception at Courtland Community Center. Public visitation has taken place on Sunday, July 3rd, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. All who knew Jim are welcomed to share special memories, favourite photos, or contribute memorial donations to “ShareWord Global Canada” (formerly known as “The Gideons”) via Jim’s online tribute page or by contacting the Maurice J. Verhoeve Funeral Homes, Tillsonburg (519)842-4238, entrusted with all funeral arrangements, with confidence.