The Reverend Dr. W. James Favorite was born in Vacherie, Louisiana, the third son of a family of five boys and one girl. He is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he earned both a bachelor’s and Master of Science Degree in Health, Physical Education and Social Studies. He attended the Virginia Seminary and College of Lynchburg, Virginia where he earned both Bachelor of Arts in Religion in 1985 and a Master of Divinity in Theology in 1987. In December of 1990, Rev. Favorite received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from the Maryland Theological Seminary and College for his outstanding work in the ministry.
He continued his studies at this institution and in June 1995 he earned the Doctor of Ministry Degree. He was also recognized by the St. Thomas Christian University of Jacksonville, Florida with a Doctor of Divinity Degree. Rev. Favorite was licensed to preach the Gospel in July 1984. He was ordained on September 13, 1985 by Morning Star Baptist Church in Catonsville, Maryland, where he served as Pastor from April 1987 until he was called to Beulah Baptist Institutional Church, Tampa, Florida in August 1995.
He has been called “…a friend, a wise counselor, a biblical preacher, and an obedient, caring servant of God”. His primary agenda is ‘Kingdom Building’ and his high energy has taken him from the walls of Beulah Baptist Institutional Church out into the communities of Tampa, to the local politicians, to the State Representatives in Tallahassee, to the Congressional and Senatorial Representatives in our Nation’s Capital. He believes in education and believes that every man, woman and child deserve a fair chance. He believes that the community can be a better place for everyone if every person would give just a tenth of their time or talent.
Pastor Favorite has been active in many community organizations and has served on many committees since moving to Tampa. Included are Pastors on Patrol, the African American Family Support Initiative, Childcare Facilities Advisory Board, Urban League Board, and the list goes on. He recently completed four years of service as President of the Congress in the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Southern Region.
Beulah Baptist has experienced much growth in membership, faithful giving and Christian Education since Rev. Favorite accepted the call as Pastor. He came with a Vision to lead Beulah into the 21st Century and he has shared this Vision with many in the Tampa Pastoral Community. He is committed to teaching other ministers to preach and has demonstrated this initiative by sponsoring a biweekly ‘Effective Preaching’ class that is free to all that would come. Under his Leadership the Church has acquired more than 8 million dollars in property surrounding the Church.
Dr. Favorite is married to Dr. Ann Fuller Favorite. They have two adult children, Rodney of Baltimore, Maryland and Andrea of Garyville, Louisiana and one grandchild, Mr. Hashim Favorite of Tampa Florida and three great grand children also of Tampa, Florida.