St. James was founded in 1907 by a handful of parishioners under the guidance of the Rev. Armand deRossett Meares. In May of 1911, the Missionary Committee of the Asheville District approved the organization of St. James Mission at its Annual Convention. By the following summer, on July 25, 1912, the Feast of St. James, the cornerstone was laid for the original church. The first service of Holy Eucharist was held in the unfinished church on September 23, 1917, by the Rev. William F. Rice. It was through his efforts that the small mission grew to a reported 34 members in 1918. Also during this time a rectory was built and thirteen years later a parish hall was added.
On March 10, 1956, under the guidance of the Rev. Wm. Scott Root, St. James was given permission by Bishop Henry to apply for parish status. Two months later, on May 9, 1956, at the Annual Convention, St. James was admitted as a parish to the Diocese of Western North Carolina.
In the early 1990’s, parishioners determined that a new location and building were needed to meet the growing parish’s needs. The congregation gathered on March 22, 1993 to break ground for the current building. On the Feast of St. James, July 25, 1994, parishioners processed from the Vance Avenue building to the new church. Bishop Robert H. Johnson celebrated the Holy Eucharist and blessed the new church’s altar and baptismal font.
In its new location the parish has experienced a dynamic new life characterized by spiritual and numerical growth and a renewed emphasis on ministries and programs.