Jim retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force in 2010 after serving 28 years as a combat rescue helicopter pilot and educator. He is now working in the Center for Education excellence at the Air Force Academy and is a Bible Study facilitator for the USAFA Preparatory School students spiritual enrichment program. He resides in Colorado Springs with his wife Mella Dee and two daughters, Kathryn 17 and Emily 15. Jim has a bachelors of Science in Physics from Northern Arizona University and received a MAPS in Family ministry from Multnomah Seminary in 2000.
Why I serve at MU
My catalyst for attending Multnomah was the need for a Bible certificate so that I would be eligible to fly for Mission Aviation Fellowship. At the time, I was flying combat rescue helicopters for the Air Force. I had recently been re-assigned to the 304th Rescue Squadron in Portland, which put me in the vicinity of Multnomah. Up to that point, I had never been to the Northwest. I had been flying for 12 years and had felt a growing urgency to fly for a missions organization. But the deeper reason was that I had a strong desire to know God and find out what he wanted me to do - something which attending Sunday school jsut couldn't do. I unexpectedly encountered good Christian community and made lifelong friends. For the first time, in spite of all my Air Force training and experience, I learned what it meant to live well and to live out a life of character in Christ. My wife Mella Dee and the birth of our two magnificent daughters, Kathryn and Emily, greatly helped me in my schooling. My family became my first and most important ministry, and still is.
After finishing a Masters in Family Studies, I never actually flew for a missions organization. During a Multnomah social gathering, a wise old WWII vet looked me in the eye and said, "Stay in the Air Force." I took that as a word from God. I renewed my commitment to our nation and pressed on to be what my Multnomah mentor called a "covert Christian." He said that I would be good at it, and he was right. I went on to become an AFROTC instructor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. In that capacity, I was able to pass on a Christian worldview, adn even held Bible studies for cadets. After Virginia Tech, I was given an opportunity to go to the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) to help oversee and re-design military training in the area of character development.
In 2010, I retired from the Air Force with 28 years of service. Shortly after that I became the president of the USAFA community center chapel, which was something I had never imagined doing. It was a rewarding and uplifting experience, and included a mission trip to the Navajo people in Chinle, AZ. I got involved in the USAFA Preparatory School as a Bible study facilitator, which I continue today. I also created and lead a ministry called "Faith through Film," in which we show popular movies to the cadets with the purpose of discussing God's Word.
My family and I now live in Monument, CO. My oldest daughter, Kathryn, is a senior in high school and an accomplished pianist and vocalist. My daughter Emily is a sophomore and is a violinist and vocalist. Both of them play and sing together, and are quite a hit at church. Recently, they put on a benefit concert for the community. Mella Dee is the glue that holds us together at home.
I'm excited to see how God will use Multnomah to make an impact for his Kingdom in the midst of rapid change and diverse (even hostile) viewpoints. I'm excited to see Multnomah re-communicating the primacy of the Bible to a new generation of Americans. I'm excited to see Multnomah enabling Christians to go out into the world as "covert Christians" in a different way than it has before. Lastly, I'm excited to see how God will shape Multnomah into the "new normal," while maintaining a history of drawing people nearer to Christ one student at a time.
Serving Since 2011