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Rev. James Braswell Holderness

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The Rev. James Braswell Holderness, 71, of Wilmington, died Thursday, December 27, 2012, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Jim was born October 25, 1941 in Tarboro, NC, son of the late H. Dail and Nancy Braswell Holderness. He graduated from Woodberry Forest School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. He served Presbyterian churches in Carrollton, GA, Little Rock, AR, Shelby, NC, Concord, NC, Dalton, GA, Greenville, NC, Laurinburg, NC, Sanford, NC, Sneads Ferry, NC, and Wilmington, NC. He had a passion and gift for preaching and teaching the Bible. He was active in the Kairos Prison Ministry and had served on the Board of Trustees at Union Theological Seminary. In 1972, he chaired the Urban League of Little Rock. He later chaired the Board of Barber Scotia College and the Cabarrus Cooperative Christian Ministry in Concord, NC. He was very active in Big Brothers Big Sisters in Dalton, GA.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Ginny Ward Holderness, son J.B. Holderness, Jr., of Englewood, NJ, daughter Lorinda Umphlett and son-in-law The Reverend David Umphlett of High Point, NC and two grandsons, James and Parker (who affectionately called him "Daddy Jim"). He is also survived by brothers, The Reverend Haywood Holderness and wife Mary of Durham, NC and Rusty Holderness and wife Mary Ann of Tarboro, NC, and sisters Zelle Jester and husband John of Greensboro, NC, and Nancy Reams and husband Tom of Richmond, VA.

A memorial service will be 12:00pm Monday, December 31, 2012, at First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Ernest T. Thompson, III and Brian K. Blount officiating. The family will greet friends at the church following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to First Presbyterian Church, 125 S. 3rd Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 or to Union Presbyterian Seminary, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Andrews Market St. Chapel

Online condolences at

Published in the Wilmington Star-News from Dec. 30 to Dec. 31, 2012