Bishop King James is the pastor of New Free Will Baptist Church in Champaign. His wife, Dr. Evelyn Underwood is associate minister. He built and founded the church using his skills as a general contractor. Born in 1938 and 1943 respectively in Mississippi, the Underwoods both came to Champaign while children. Bishop Underwood has a Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Divinity. Both have been heavily involved in local community groups, including helping to form the Free Will Baptist District and leading the Ministerial Alliance of Champaign‐Urbana and Vicinity, the local NAACP, N.C.N.W. and the Champaign County Urban League. By mayoral proclamation ʺBishop King James Underwood Dayʺ has been established in Urbana, Illinois.
King was featured in Difference Makers 2010: An eBlack Champaign-Urbana Publication.