Jim graduated from David Lipscomb High School in 1951. He attended Memphis State University for his freshman year in 1951-52, then attended to David Lipscomb College from 1952-1955, graduating with a BA in Biblical Studies. He began work on a Master’s of Arts in Religion from Harding Graduate School of Religion in the early 1960’s but—due to ministry and family demands and the decision to do mission work in New Zealand—was unable to complete his work until 1967, when he was awarded an MA degree.
Jim served a number of churches during the course of their six-plus decades of ministry:
• Berea Church of Christ, Berea, TN
• Hickory Church of Christ, Hickory, NC
• West Columbia Church of Christ, Columbia, SC
• South Highland Church of Christ, Little Rock, AR
• Union Avenue Church of Christ, Memphis, TN
• Bryndwr Church of Christ, New Zealand
• White Haven Church of Christ, Memphis, TN
• College Church of Christ, Searcy, AR
• A&M Church of Christ, College Station, TX
• Burlington Church of Christ, Burlington, MA
• Muskogee Church of Christ, Muskogee, OK
Jim wrote several books, addressing issues relevant to churches of Christ or focusing on favorite biblical passages. His books have been translated into several languages and were pivotal in shaping the thinking of ministers and church leaders in churches of Christ over the past half-century: The Divorce Dilemma; Struggles of the Kingdom; Four Realities; The Aroma of Christ; Beyond Crossroads; Between the Rock and a Hard Place; The Church in Transition; and Sayings that Saved my Sanity.
In addition to his writings, Jim was a popular speaker, preaching at lectureships, retreats, and congregational meetings, as well as at events around the world (in Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific).