"He answered God's call to serve in a faraway place called Brazil, learned Portuguese, preached God's Word and encouraged people to memorize it, planted churches and developed leaders," said President Matt Proctor.
BRAZIL: Right after he entered Ozark in the fall of 1956, the 9th National Missionary Convention was held in Joplin and during this convention he decided to be a missionary. His roommate, David Bayless, was interested in missions and decided on Brazil. Jim also decided that would be a good place for him.
WIFE: Jim began preaching at the Antioch Christian Church, near Pomona, Missouri and met Mary Baker, an RN at the hospital. They were married in 1958 and together with their daughter, Naomi, landed in Belem, Brazil, on February 1, 1961.
EVANGELISM: They worked with Amazon River Evangelism for five years and in order to go places to teach about Jesus Jim built a twenty-one foot boat covered with fiberglass.
LIFE IN BRAZIL: Two different places in Brazil their living quarters was a very large tent. They lived in one end and the church met in the other. There was no electricity and a small generator was used to pump water.
SNAKE STEAKS: One time Jim killed a 20 foot boa constrictor and Mary chopped it up and put it in a freezer and the family ate snake steaks for months.
CHURCHES STARTED: David Bayless wrote, "God has surely used you. Four good congregations and now a church going well in a converted hospital. Just about every job in the church was done by Jim, preach, translate, lead music, play piano, youth meetings and he and Mary educated their kids at home.
LIFE CHANGED: In 1995 his wife Mary died from a sudden brain aneurism. Five years later he married Maria Felix. She is the sister of Nonata Silva who studied at Ozark and is a minister in Brazil.
FAITHFULNESS: On February 1, 2011, he celebrated 50 years in Brazil. Lynn Gardner, former OCC Academic Dean wrote, “He is to be commended for devoting his life as a career missionary to one field. It is to his credit that his family has continued the ministry with him in Brazil.”
Thanks Jim, for your faithfulness to the Lord’s call on your life - 50 years in Brazil and still going.