In January 2017, Jim Tongue was appointed by the Bridgewater Town Council to fill the seat vacated when Ted Flory became Mayor. His name is on the November ballot for a special election to complete that term through 2018. He briefly served on the Industrial Development Authority before joining the Council.
Born in New Market and living as a young child in Stuarts Draft, Jim always considered the Valley home. First as a Methodist preacher’s kid, then as a United Methodist pastor for 50 years, Jim has lived in communities across Virginia. In 2011 Judy and he were delighted to be appointed back in the Valley, serving as Senior Pastor at Bridgewater United Methodist Church and making the town their home.
Jim graduated from Hampton High School in 1964, from the University of Virginia in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and from Yale Divinity School in 1971 with a Master of Divinity degree. While a student at UVA, he served the three churches of the Sherando-Lyndhurst Charge from 1966 to 1968. Following his graduation from Yale, he served the Monterey Charge of four churches and coordinated the Highland Larger Parish of 12 churches from 1971 to 1978. Other appointments were the Wakefield Charge of three churches, 1978 to 1984, Lane Memorial United Methodist Church in Altavista, 1984 to 1992, Timberlake United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, 1992-2000, and Virginia Beach United Methodist Church, Virginia Beach, 2000 to 2003. In 2003 he was appointed to serve on the Bishop’s Cabinet as Superintendent of the Farmville District of 94 churches, a position he held for eight years before coming to Bridgewater. He retired in June 2016.
Jim has been active in each community where he served, understanding ministry to be to the community as well as the congregation. In retirement from pastoral ministry, he is both humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Bridgewater as a council member.
Jim is married to Judy Abbott Tongue and has three grown children and six grandchildren.