|Longtime GC Communication
Official James Chase Dies
ames E. Chase, 89, the founding head of the Communication Department of the General Conference and the former coordinator of all retirees of the North American Division, died in Loma Linda, California, on September 11, 2009.
During his long career with the denomination, Elder Chase also served as a pastor, evangelist, pioneer radio speaker, conference departmental secretary and president of three local conferences. Following the death of his wife, Violet, five months ago, Elder Chase came to Loma Linda to live at the “Linda Valley Villa,” a senior retirement center near the campus of Loma Linda University.
Memorial services were held in October, first at Modesto, California, at the church where he had retirement status, and then at the Villa, his last residence.
When the General Conference decided to combine the Radio-TV Department and the Bureau of Public Relations in 1978, Elder Chase was tapped to become the first head of the new Communication Department, a post he held until his retirement in 1985.
But his work for the church did not terminate when he retired. The North American Division asked him to head up the Adventist Retirement Association and as such was the coordinator of all organized activities for seniors in the United States and Canada.
Because of his radio experience while serving in local conferences in both the Midwest and Northwest America, Elder Chase was asked by the world church to become an associate cirector of the Radio-TV Department of the General Conference and served with Elder Elmer Walde. In this role he traveled the world promoting the use of radio and TV in spreading the gospel message.
His wealth of experience in pastoral and evangelistic work on several levels led the Missouri Conference to call him as conference president in 1962. Two years later he was asked to become president of the Northern California Conference, where he served for eight years until he was called to become president of the Washington Conference in 1972, He served there until the General Conference asked him to return to the world headquarters.
During his career he was able to work closely with such notable church leaders as H. M. S. Richards of the Voice of Prophecy, and William A. Fagal of the Faith for Today TV program. He constantly reminded the leadership of the church of the importance of reaching the masses of people through radio and TV.
Even in retirement Elder Chase was busy as acting pastor and chaplain of the Parkwood Adventist Church, Modesto, California, the family’s choice of a retirement home.
Elder Chase leaves to mourn two sons: James David Chase of Pacific Union College, Angwin, California, and Donald Ray Chase of Palm Springs, California, a pathologist and educator, and their spouses; seven granddaughters, and 10 great-grandchildren.