James P. Beasom Jr. came to Glendale’s First Lutheran church in 1937, and during his short time as minister the congregation grew from one of the smallest to one of the largest Lutheran churches in the state.
Beasom was born in Minnesota in 1899, but his family moved to Winnipeg, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, when he was very young.
The onset of World War I inspired him to support the cause, so even though he was under age, he joined the 79th Cameron Highlanders, a unit of Canadian soldiers headed for France in support of the British allies. He passed the exam since he appeared to be an adult in size and demeanor and he remained in the service “long enough to stand inspection before the Prince of Wales,” according to a Glendale News-Press story, May 18, 1940. When his age was finally discovered, he was released.
This adventurous young man returned to the United States in 1916, enrolled in a college with a student army training corps and, after graduation, entered Pacific Theological Seminary in Seattle. After his ordination in 1924, he did graduate work at several universities and served as pastor in a Seattle Lutheran church for five years.