Reverend James Earl Clanton, Jr. was born in Littleton, North Carolina to the late James E. and Ruth M. Clanton.  He is a product of the Halifax County public schools.  He matriculated at North Carolina State University and later earned his Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina Wesleyan College.  He has completed graduate classes towards the Masters of Divinity at Shaw Divinity School. Reverend Clanton retired from UPS on February 28th, 2017 after being employed there for thirty-six years. 
He responded to the divine call to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was licensed to preach the gospel at Christian Faith Baptist Church in Raleigh under the pastor, Reverend Dr. David C. Forbes, Sr., on May 22, 1994.  He was ordained on October 7, 2001.  He served as the Pastor of First Baptist Church New Hill in New Hill, North Carolina from December 2001 to July 2014.  Heeding the direction of God and the desires of the Wake Baptist Grove Church congregation, Reverend Clanton became pastor at Wake Baptist Grove Church in Garner, North Carolina on August 1, 2014.  He was officially installed on September 28, 2014.

 While serving as Pastor at First Baptist, Reverend Clanton fought along with other community leaders to stop four municipalities from building a regional wastewater treatment plant in the predominately African American section of New Hill.  His efforts were recognized by North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN) who honored him as the recipient of the network's 2010 Florenza Moore Grant Community Environmental Justice Award.  Reverend Clanton was also the Vice Moderator of District 3 in the New Hope Missionary Baptist Association from 2006 to July 2014. As the Vice Moderator, he lead ten churches in following the doctrine of the association and the vision of the association moderator.  Reverend Clanton was recently elected by his peers in the Wake Missionary Baptist Association to serve as the Vice President of the Wake Missionary Baptist Union.

 Reverend Clanton is the blessed husband to the former Patricia Jackson of Nashville, North Carolina.  They have three children, a daughter, Jamesha and two sons, Patrick and Jameson. The family resides in Garner, North Carolina. 

Reverend Clanton strives to be a servant of God, to serve His people, and to lift up the name of Jesus so that men, women, and children might be drawn unto Christ.