Father James Hereford Douglass passed from this life to be with his Eternal Father on July 15, 2018 at the age of 91.
James Douglass was born in DeQuincy, Louisiana on January 8, 1927 to Robert Leroy and Franklin (Frankie) Douglass. He is predeceased by his parents, his oldest sister Mary Elizabeth and his older brother Robert Leroy, II. He is survived by his son: Rosalio Antonio Herrera Martinez, nieces and nephews: Carolyn Walters (Tom), Ellen Hecksel (Joseph), Douglas Hoffman (Sue), and John Robert Hoffman (Colleen) and their children.
James H. Douglass was educated at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, and the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He then completed a Master’s Degree in Social Work (in community planning and psychiatric counseling) from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. During the Second World War he served as a hospital corpsman in the United States Navy.
Father Douglass was ordained as a deacon in 1953, and then ordained as a priest in 1954. He served in a variety of capacities for the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, including St. Andrews in Bayou Du Large (1953–1956), Trinity in Morgan City (1955-1957), Christ Church in St. Joseph (1963-1966), All Saints in New Orleans (1966-1971), and St. James Place as its first chaplain in 1984 along with St. Michael’s Church in Baton Rouge as its new priest in charge at the same time.
Most of Father Douglass’ service was in the mission fields. In 1957 he served as the rector/headmaster in San Pedro de Marcoris, Dominican Republic. Then in 1973 he was appointed Rector of St. John’s Church in Puerto Cortes, Honduras. He started St. John School soon after, following his belief that educating the children, along with teaching them about Jesus, offered them the best road out of poverty. Among his proudest accomplishments was the opening of several schools that taught students multilingual skills as well as Christian values.
Father Douglass had boundless energy, love and enthusiasm for the people he served and the God he loved. He would hear of a way to help others and would immediately act upon the need. His ministry in Honduras grew from a small group of elderly people and children to several churches with growing congregations. While serving there he opened a medical clinic, built homes, 2 community water systems, and 2 public schools.
Father Douglass is remembered for his excellent conversational skills and story-telling. He is remembered for his extraordinary kindness, and his ability to put others at ease.
Father James Douglass inspired us with his ability to put scriptural values into practice and to make lasting changes in other people’s lives.