Elder James Michael McLarren, Sr. was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and grew up in the Midtown neighborhood of St. Louis during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. He attended segregated neighborhood schools until graduation in 1975 from Vashon High School, where he was on the chess team and drove a Thunderbird. In 1979, he married his high school sweetheart, Sharon Boone, and by 1982 was a family man and father of two working and studying to become a paramedic.
While Elder McLarren is proud of his accomplishments, which include being married for nearly 40 years, and providing for his family while earning several degrees, he considers his spiritual journey the most important aspect of his life. In 1985, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, being baptized at Page Blvd Church of Christ. Since then, he has devoted himself to the Church, serving as a groundskeeper, deacon, bus driver, Sunday School teacher, handyman, treasurer, kid-wrangler and chili judge.
When he isn’t with his church family, he is busy owning and operating Christian Brothers Carpentry, playing hearts, falling asleep in front of the TV, taking his wife to Applebee’s, talking to his (grown) kids, and making plans to hang out with his three grandsons.