James Ernest Chambers, 60, of Auburn, CA, passed away at home with his wife by his side, on Friday, January 27, 2023, after a 2+ year battle with cancer.
James was born in Melbourne, Florida, to Gerald and Ruby Chambers. He soon moved to Steubenville, Ohio, where he remained until his high school graduation in 1980. He then attended 1 year of Jefferson Tech College where he studied Architecture and Design. In August of 1981, he joined the United States Navy and served a little over 7 years at Miramar Air Station in San Diego. He had several detachments for various aviation schools and made 3 deployments aboard the USS Carl Vinson, including the initial “Around the World” Cruise in 1983.
In 1988, Jim received an honorable discharge from the US Navy and began attending Lighthouse Baptist Church Bible Institute, where he eventually graduated. It was here he met his wife, Bonnie Hornickel, who he would quickly fall in love with and marry within a year.
James and Bonnie Chambers moved to Auburn, California, in September of 1992. The Lord was guiding Jim to open and pastor Lighthouse Baptist Church, which would keep its doors open for nearly 20 years and spread the Gospel to hundreds of souls.
For many years, Jim’s second job was as a flight line manager at the local airport in Auburn. He loved planes and even had his private pilot license. He enjoyed taking his family on morning flights to breakfast in other towns. He would later get his bus driver’s license, which he used to bring people to church, take children to school and drive senior citizens to appointments. He had a great work ethic throughout his life!
Jim was known for his love of studying God’s Word, camping, family, church, and ultimately, Jesus. He would often share his story of his salvation on May 18, 1986 at 12:45 in the afternoon.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Bonnie; children, Joseph (Kayla), Matthew (Brittany), Elizabeth and Nathanael; sister, Diana (Clay); brother, Jerry (Rose); 7 grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
James’ funeral will be on Tuesday, February 7, at Pioneer Baptist Church, located at 4252 Garfield Ave, Carmichael, CA 95608. The funeral service will be at 11am, preceded by a public viewing at 10:15am.