We are sad to report that retired Northern California Conference Pastor James (Jim) Redfield passed away on Monday, Sept. 28, at his home in Penn Valley. He was 74.
Redfield came to the NCC in 1986 after serving in the Wisconsin Conference for about a decade. During his career in Northern California, he was pastor of the Woodland, Penn Valley, and Colfax churches, and he also worked on special projects for the conference, including helping churches with conflict resolution and researching NCC history. Redfield retired in 2015 after 38 years of service to the Adventist Church.
Many got to know him at Redwood Camp Meeting, where he led the Adult II division for a number of years. He was instrumental in purchasing the massive tent and moving the Adult II venue to its current location.
Redfield was passionate about helping people treat each other as Jesus would. He mediated conflicts at local churches in the NCC and elsewhere, worked with schools to prevent bullying, and acted as a consultant to La Sierra University’s Center for Conflict Resolution. In addition, he served as a court mediator and as a sheriff’s department chaplain. “Jim became a role model for me in the Christ-like way he dealt with disagreements,” said Harry Salvini, Redwood Area Camp director. “I am making plans to join with others to carry on his work of conflict resolution in our churches and schools.”
“Jim was an important part of our NCC pastoral staff – both for his contributions to Redwood Camp Meeting and his emphasis on peaceful conflict resolution in our churches,” said President Marc Woodson. “He leaves behind a lasting legacy.”
Throughout his career, Redfield was known for his warm personality. “He was jovial, relational, and very accepting of people,” said Ed Fargusson, assistant to the president. “Everybody was his friend.”
Former NCC President Jim Pedersen knew Redfield for many years. “I first met him when we were both pastors, in different conferences, and both serving on a planning committee for a union-wide pastor’s meeting,” said Pedersen. “It was refreshing to hear his perspectives then, and it was a joy to end up working together in Northern California. Jim had a beautiful way of seeing the big picture in ministry that was undergirded with a priceless sense of humor.”
Redfield is survived by his wife, Ilona; his children, Kendall, Keiri, Cory, and Zachary; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the Grass Valley church on Sabbath, Oct. 10, at 1:30 p.m. The service will be broadcast on YouTube, so his many friends can attend remotely: https://youtu.be/jkJZIViqz-Q
“We look forward to that great day when Jim will hear the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant,’” said Ministerial Director Jim Lorenz. “Until then, we’re going to miss him.”