James, a farmer who was hired by Geldof to to be the charity's Field Director in Sudan and Ethiopia, died on December 30. He was 87.
Hundreds of mourners turned out to remember James at a church in Devon, England, and were shocked to see Geldof take to the pulpit unannounced to pay tribute to the man who tried to help struggling Africans successfully farm their land.
He told the congregation, “The man whom we are remembering today was responsible, without a shadow of a doubt, for keeping hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people alive.
“The country he worked for most assiduously and eloquently is in the top ten fastest growing economies of the world and that wouldn’t have been possible without this most magnificent of men.”