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Meet Reverend Cean R. James

A Photograph of Pastor Cean JamesSenior Pastor
Salt & Light
Associate Conference Minister of Congregational Development
Pennsylvania Southeast Conference, UCC

Reverend Cean James is the Senior Pastor of Salt & Light, an interdenominational, intergenerational congregation worshiping and working in Southwest Philadelphia and Mt. Airy. In 2005, Pastor James planted Grace Christian Fellowship, which merged with New Spirit Community Church to form Salt & Light in 2020.  Salt & Light represents the union of churches that have been ministering in Philadelphia for over 160 years. Salt & Light is a 1000-member congregation that is the rare combination of Pentecostal fire and social justice activism; a congregation that is vibrant in worship in the church and vibrant in working on the streets.

Rev. James completed his undergraduate studies at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University with a BS in biology and received his Masters of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia. Pastor James is currently a dissertation phase Doctoral candidate at Lancaster Theological Seminary.

Pastor James also serves the wider church as the Associate Conference Minister of Congregational Development for the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference, UCC. In this role, Pastor James works with the churches of the conference in renewal, vitality, growth, and planting of new churches. Pastor James is the Director of the CityLights Network, a capacity-building nonprofit in Southwest Philadelphia. Pastor James is also a board member of United Lutheran Seminary, The Common Place, and Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Association. Pastor James also serves as an advisor to the Covid-19 Network of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rev. James is married to the former Kesha Barton of Columbia, SC. Kesha, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, practices law in the public interest. They have been blessed with three sons, Clarence Milton, Jesse Joseph, and Cean Benjamin.