1927 – 1956
Jim preached some and well, but never got the opportunity to live a life as a preacher. He read many books, knew his Greek and his Theology, and had a passion for God, but never wrote any books. But yet his journals live with us, and his life story was magnified across the country and changed the face of Missions for good. He brought hope to churches of this country by giving his life away, to serve God, and Missionaries around the world have found their battle cry from him.
A simple man with a big heart and lava-like passion, he preached, even though young, and wouldn’t cease from pounding the pulpit and raising his voice—some kind of a madman! His story is well-known, as he inspired four others to go and sharing the Gospel with the savage Auca tribe in the deep jungles of Ecuador. A series of “unfortunate” and impossible events led to the death of all of them, yet the Gospel was eventually reached the town through their wives (including Elizabeth Elliot); the town was transformed by Christ and their forgiveness of the murderers. One of those who died was Jim’s friend and co-missionary, Nate Saint. His son Steve gave this explanation: “As [the killers] described their recollections it occurred to me how incredibly unlikely it was that the Palm Beach killing took place at all; it is an anomaly that I cannot explain outside of divine intervention.” It was God’s will—to Him be the glory!