Pastor James Riley Borden


Pastor James Riley Borden, age 82, passed away peacefully at his home in Joliet on Friday, February 26, 2021, surrounded by the love of his family. Pastor Jim was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 29, 1938. He knew from a young age that he would be called to be a missionary in Africa. Pastor Jim spent his youth with his missionary parents in Tanganyika, now known as Tanzania. Upon returning to the United States, he attended Northwestern College in Minneapolis. Pastor Jim then began his life’s pursuit as a musical evangelist traveling all across this great country, ultimately re-settling in Minneapolis at Apostolic Gospel Church (now known as Southbridge Church in Burnsville, MN), his home place of worship. Pastor Jim returned to Africa in 1964 to pursue his childhood dream of bringing the word of God to Kenya, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and South Africa. He served as pastor at Emmanuel Fellowship in Gweru, Zimbabwe, teaching at Bible schools and preaching in rural areas for 40 years until his retirement in 2018. He was credentialed with Apostolic Church of Pentecost Canada (ACOP) and the International Ministerial Association (IMA) and was recognized from Team Impact Christian University with an Honorary Doctorate for his many years of service. Pastor Jim then found comfort and happiness retiring to the United States to live with his daughter Ruth and her family in Joliet, Illinois.

Pastor Jim was preceded by his first wife Joan A. Borden (2001), father Fred V. Borden (1997), mother Grace J. (nee Rensberger) Borden (2012), and twin brother Gerald W. Borden (1961).

He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Naomi Louise Erickson Bloom Borden; son, Clayton (Terry) A. Borden of Salem, Oregon; daughter, Ruth A. (Bowen) Mangabhai of Joliet, Illinois; six grandchildren, Ian, Michael, Kimberly, Megan, Kelly, and Alexis; brother, Richard D. (Barbara) Borden of Stanton, Oregon; and sister, Galilee M.(John) Weldon of Jefferson, Oregon.

Funeral services for Pastor Jim Borden will be held privately by the family. As it was Pastor’s final request, cremation rites have been accorded and his final earthly remains will be interred at Riverside Cemetery near St. Mathias, Minnesota this summer. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name to VITAS Community Connection, P.O. Box 645352, Cincinnati, OH, 45264-5352 would be appreciated. Fred C. Dames Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. For more information, please call 815-741-5500 or visit his memorial tribute at

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