Pastor James Kellerman was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, but has made Chicago his home for over thirty years, ever since graduating from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1988. He came to Chicago to earn a doctorate in classical languages and literature (that is, ancient Greek and Latin) at Loyola University. After graduating he loved the city so much that he decided to stay here. He has served as First Bethlehem’s pastor since 1994.
In addition to his parish work, he teaches part time at Concordia University Chicago, which despite its name is really located in suburban River Forest. He contributed translations to several volumes of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series and a couple volumes of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series. In addition, he translated the anonymous fifth-century work known as the Incomplete Commentary on Matthew (once ascribed wrongly to John Chrysostom), which appeared in 2010 as part of the Ancient Christian Text series.
Among other pursuits, he enjoys hiking (and wishes the mountains were closer!), bicycling, reading (especially history), and taking care of his vegetable garden.