Dr. James Flanagan was reared in Southern Illinois. He and his wife, Ruth, reside in Conyers. He has two sons, Jared and Timothy, one grandson, Noah, and one granddaughter, Erin.
At age nine, he was saved and at age twenty-five, surrendered to the ministry.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: Southern Illinois University, B.S.; Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary/ Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, M.Div.; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ph.D.
He has served as a staff member at various churches in Texas and pastored Colonial Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL.
Beginning in 1982, he served on the faculty of Luther Rice University in Lithonia, GA. In 1985 he became the Vice President of Academic Affairs until April 1993 when he was named the Interim President and Chief Executive Officer. On February 22, 1994, the Board of Trustees named Dr. Flanagan as the fourth President of Luther Rice University.