"Big Jim" Salles, Pastor, Photographer, Life Coach & Chaplain

James David "Big Jim" Salles was born on November 26, 1945, in Beaumont, Texas. Big Jim was raised in Fannett, and graduated with honors from Hamshire - Fannett High School in 1963. For two of his high school years, Big Jim was the H-F yearbook photographer. After graduation, he attended Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches on a basketball scholarship. Big Jim letterd in track and field while helping SFA secure its first Lone Star Conference Track and Field Champonship! While at SFA, he was in the marching and concert bands. For most of his freshman year at SFA, Big Jim served as Music and Youth Minister for Pollock Baptist Church, Pollock, TX. After his freshman year, he transferred to Lamar University and attended until 1966, the year in which he married his lovely wife Sue Humphrey of Groves. Together they have four grown children, and as of 2013, seven grandchildren!

Big Jim has been the pastor of West End Baptist Church since February 2, 1998. He began his ministerial career in 1962 while still in high school. Except for a year and a half sabbatical, he has served either full-time or part-time as pastor or musical director in a Baptist church to the present. Following in his steps, all of his children and their spouses currently hold ministerial or service positions in Southern Baptist churches. In 1995, Big Jim returned to Lamar University and finished his undergraduate degree. In 2000, he entered Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2004.

Big Jim's passion for photography began in high school. His first camera was an Argus 35. Then came Minolta 35mm cameras. In the 1970's he was introduced to medium-format, acquiring a Bronica with two lenses. Later, he moved up to Hasselblad and still uses them some today. In the 80's and 90's, he operated his own darkroom. Until forced by time contraints, he enjoyed "playing in" his darkroom and light studio. In 2003, after shooting thousands of film negatives, Big Jim made the move to digital. He started with a Canon G3, and then moved up through several Canon Rebels and XTi's. Currently he shoots a Canon 60D. Though he prefers film, especially medium and large formats, he shoots with his digital cameras because of economic and time restraints. As far as subjects go, he claims not to be good at portraits or staging shots, but prefers to shoot subjects as they are, just like he sees them. Big Jim also likes black-and-white photography, because he can "see" more in them than color photographs. See his work.

Big Jim is a faith life coach certified through Coaching4Clergy. He provides both formal and informal life coaching to church members and commuity residents. Big Jim actively ministers with the Beaumont Police Department as a CAPP Chaplain. Both of these roles are part of his pastoral ministry at West End and throughout greater Beaumont. Additionaly, Big Jim currently serves as President and Chairman of the Board for Christian Life Crisis Intervention, Inc. As well, he is a member of Singing Men of Texas and President of SMOT's local chapter, Singing Men of Southeast Texas (SMOSET). 

Contact Big Jim.