At the age of 9, Jim told his grandmother that he would be a pastor. After a brief time of wanting to be a truck driver (due to the influence of Smokey and the Bandit), Jim committed his life to ministry at the age of 16 and has been serving in churches since the age of 18. Jim graduated from Wake Forest University with a . in religion and received his Master’s of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He began working in churches while a freshman at Wake Forest, and since has served congregations in North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, and South Carolina prior to coming to Colonial in 2008.
In the final year before his death in 1996, Henri Nouwen set out to write a book about the Creed. His plans changed when he learned of the death of his friend Adam, a severely handicapped young man from the L'Arche Daybreak Community outside Toronto where Nouwen lived. In the story of Adam he found a way to describe his own understanding of the Gospel message. Adam could not speak or even move without assistance. Gripped by frequent seizures, he spent his life in obscurity. And yet, for Nouwen, Adam became "my friend, my teacher, and my guide." It was Adam who led Nouwen to a new understanding of his faith and what it means to be Beloved of God. Through the story of Adam Nouwen found a new way to tell God's story of Jesus and the story of all of us human creatures, broken and yet beloved, who live in a world charged with the mystery of God's overwhelming love. Completed only weeks before his own death, Adam: God's Beloved became Nouwens final, precious gift, a fitting summation of his own message and legacy.