Jim Jones’ Associate Pastors

Jim Jones rewarded loyalty in his most trusted aides by giving them positions of leadership and – sometimes – the titles that went with it. During the Temple’s early years in Indiana and Redwood Valley, Jones’ associate pastors were men who’d previously had religious training and who had been associated with other churches.

  • Rev. Russell Winberg was a minister at the Laurel Street Tabernacle in Indianapolis when he invited Jim Jones to preach there in 1954 and remained with Jones as an associate pastor until June 1963.
  • Archie Ijames had attended Bible school and been a pastor with the Church of God, Body of Christ, but he had left the ministry by the time he met Jones in 1956. His presence in the front of the church with Jim Jones represented as much a return to religion for Ijames as it did a demonstrable commitment to integration for Jones.
  • Ross Case was a minister in the Disciples of Christ in Indiana when he met Jones in 1959, and became an associate pastor of the Temple about the same time that the Temple applied for affiliation with Case’s denomination.
  • Edward Malmin attended an Assemblies of God school in Costa Mesa, California, as well as Aimee Semple McPherson’s seminary in Los Angeles, before he went to Brazil and met Jones in 1962.

Other men became credentialed in the ministry and received the title of Associate Pastor without such an education or background.

  • Tim Stoen became Jim Jones’ most trusted aide in the early 1970s and remained so until his defection in 1977, one year after his wife Grace Stoen left the church. An attorney by education, an assistant district attorney by profession, Stoen received a Certificate of Ministerial License in the Disciples of Christ in 1974.
  • Mike Prokes had been a newsman with a CBS television affiliate in central California when he was assigned to interview Jim Jones. He soon joined the Temple and became the head of the church’s public relations team. He was also identified as an associate pastor for Peoples Temple, especially when he spoke as the church’s official representative in media broadcasts.

Tim Stoen’s Certificate of Ministerial License, RYMUR 89-4286-EE-1-S-157

Last modified on October 22nd, 2013.
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