January 12, 1912, Belfast, Ireland.
April 22, 1987, Ridgecrest, North Carolina.
Conejo Mountain Memorial Park, Camarillo, California.
James was the son of William Stewart Orr and Rose Wright, and husband of Ivy Muriel Carol Carlson (married 1937).
He was ordained an American Baptist minister in 1940, attended Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (MA 1941), and Northern Baptist Seminary (ThD 1943).
He served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific in World War II.
After the war, he continued his schooling, attending Oxford University (PhD 1948) and the University of California at Los Angeles (EdD 1971). He also received honorary degrees from an Indian seminary and the University of South Africa. In 1967 he became a professor in the School of World Missions at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. He wrote at least six hymns, and a number of books, including: