"James Elrod is in a unique and privileged position. He is a Wall Street executive who is calling upon the church to be more proactive and effective in dealing with its finances."
As fellow Yale graduate, I used to see him at the Divinity School when he was a student there. I also witnessed him give a lecture as a guest speaker in a Church Administration class I attended toward the end of my studies at that school.
About a year after my graduation, James accepted to have lunch with me, and graciously answered all the questions I asked him about a research on church and finance that I was conducting at that time. To my amazement, he referred me to a friend who could help me with the research, and invited me to explore new paths that could potentially make my research more practical and more helpful to the church. Also, at the end of 2020, as the host of the Overcomer Hour, I interviewed him on the state of the US economy during the pandemic.
Based on my personal experience with James, I am convinced that he is a scholar practitioner who is an exceptional asset for the church. Even when I saw him give the lecture, I could, as a preacher and a former college instructor, clearly notice glimpses of great teaching skills.
He was methodical and knowledgeable, and created strong connections with his audience by listening carefully and answering all questions asked. Furthermore, after I invited him to be interviewed on my platform, we had several email exchanges and a pre-interview meeting over the phone. We spoke about expectations, and, as usual James was very thoughtful.
The questions he asked and the comments he made helped us refine our interview preparation, which led to a better outcome. Obviously, the interview was great.
I have no doubt that Jim’s research will be very helpful for the future of the church. As a practical theologian and a financier, he has mastered the tools that the church needs to be successful in the first century.
In this era partly characterized by a rough religious landscape, and the biggest public health crisis in a century, we need voices like James' to remind us that things can and will be better over time.
Rev. Jean-Fritz Guerrier
Pilgrim Way Baptist Church
Host of the Overcomer Hour
MDiv (Yale), MA (TEDS), MBA (SIU)