Get to Know Our Pastor

Reverend James R. Willis, Jr.


Reverend James R. Willis, Jr. is the son of the late Audrey H. Oquinn and the late James R. Willis, Sr. He is married to Sis. Cheryl P. Willis and is the father of three children, James III, Chara Lynn and Jonathan James Willis. 

Rev. Willis was baptized early in life by the late Rev. Morris A. Edwards, Jr. at the Carver Desire Baptist Church. He was educated in New Orleans Public Schools, attended the University of New Orleans, and earned a Bachelor of Theology Degree from the Union Baptist Theological Seminary. He began his preaching career in 1979 at the Greater Little Rock Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Johnny M. Williams, Sr., and was ordained to the Gospel Ministry by the Seven Seals District Missionary Baptist Educational Association on December 20, 1981.

In June 1991, when Greater Little Rock suddenly found itself without a pastor, Rev. Willis was asked by that church to serve as its spiritual guide, and later, as pastor. In 1992, when Pastor Edwards passed away, Rev. Willis was recalled to Carver Desire, to serve as its pastor as well. He served both churches until December 1999, when he left Greater Little Rock to be at Carver Desire full time.

Pastor Willis has served as Executive Secretary of the Seven Seals District Association, Secretary of the Christian Missionary Baptist Association, Chairman of the Board, Executive Director, and current Board member of Churches United for Revitalization and Evangelism (C.U.R.E.).

He fervently believes that, “all things work together for good to them that love the Lord”, and his constant prayer is that God would send workers into the vineyard that the gospel might go forth, that men might be saved, and that lives might be changed for the better.