St. James was first dedicated on December 16, 1883. The original church building was a handsome frame chapel. The chapel cost just $1,376.29 to build.
The congregation decided to build a brick church in 1911 and the new building was dedicated on August 11, 1912. During the same month that the new building was dedicated, the annual convention of the Virginia Synod was held at St. James. Records show that in 1955, there was discussion of building an airport adjacent to the church, extending to Barren Ridge Church on the north. Because of the united stand in the community, this site was defeated and the airport was instead built in Weyers Cave. In 1956 the church purchased its first Allen Electric Organ.
On Thursday, May 14, 1964, the church burned and the cause was determined to be lightning from a storm the night before. Members and neighbors and friends gathered to demolish the remains of the building for many weeks to follow. The first cornerstone of the current church building was laid on November 7, 1965. The first service in the new sanctuary was held on April 10, 1966 and the new church building was officially dedicated on May 15, 1966.
Pastoral leadership has changed a number of times over the years. The congregation has had three children grow up to become Lutheran Pastors: Charles Freed, James Coiner, and Matthew Diehl.