Pastor Jim has over fifty years in Christian ministry: twenty-one as a teacher in Bible college and seminary and over thirty years as a pastor and Bible teacher. He brings a special wisdom—the kind that can only be learned through difficult times—to each message, whether through the written or spoken word. “My brand, everyone would say, is teaching the Word of God,” Jim says. “Nothing brings me greater joy or fulfillment than to bring the Scriptures alive to God’s people. As I see it, my job as a Bible teacher is to cause the issues of life and the truth of God’s Word to collide violently at the intersections of the consciousness. God knows that brings me more satisfaction than anything on earth. Not far behind that is the opportunity to lead.”
Jim and his wife, Olsie, have the kind of relationship that most couples aspire to achieve. “We have compatible tastes. We actually enjoy shopping together, and sitting and talking,” Jim marvels. Yet the strength of their relationship has been tested time and again as they have walked through over twenty-eight years of suffering alongside their afflicted daughter, Juli, who, owing to an auto-immune disorder and brain injury, suffers from a mysterious and multi-layered debilitating condition. (This ordeal is described in detail in his book, Polishing God’s Monuments: Pillars of Hope for Punishing Times.)
Jim holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from West Virginia Institute of Technology, an M.A. in Classics from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and a Th.M. in New Testament from Dallas Theological Seminary. A native of West Virginia, he spent his first seven post- seminary years pastoring a small church in Poca, WV, before accepting an invitation to teach at Western Bible College (now a part of Colorado Christian University) from 1970-80 as director of pastoral studies. He then taught for eleven years at Western Seminary in Portland, OR, serving the last four years as chairman of the division of ministerial studies. Jim has served as the senior pastor of Lake Bible Church in Lake Oswego, OR, since 1990. He also hosts The Final Word, a popular radio program that airs daily in the greater Portland, OR, and Pittsburgh, PA, metro areas.
Jim and Olsie have two married daughters, Kristi and Juli, and two married grandchildren (Ashley and Alex).