Every semester, over 12,000 international students from over 140 different nations flood the campus of Arizona State University. These precious souls and influential future leaders are a foreign mission field right at our doorstep. Not only is the opportunity for interaction much greater on campus than in their native countries, but they represent a powerful potential missionary force as they return to their homelands. James' energy, enthusiasm, and genuine love for these students is a natural connecting point. Physical fitness training, swimming lessons, slack lining, hiking, conversational English classes, etc. are used as opportunities to build bridges towards meaningful relationships that open up relaxed and honest conversations to evangelize and disciple. Working hand in hand with "Friends Of Internationals" (an ongoing Missions Door campus ministry for 30 years), James utilizes hospitality ministry, monthly activities, host-family programs, furniture giveaways, and one-on-one/group Bible studies to orchestrate ministry impact.
Raised in a religious home, but without saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, James responded to the truth of the Gospel at the age of 8 during a Good News Bible Club. More than religious rituals, trusting in what Jesus had done to offer him total forgiveness made much more sense to his young heart. The solid teachings of a new church family (where James met Staci in 5th grade) laid the foundation of their faith. Embracing the cross, dying to self, and sharing God's amazing grace with others were vital elements of this foundation that took years to fully appreciate and truly build upon. Serving faithfully for over 22 years at Mesa Baptist Church as a Minister of Music/Associate Pastor provided James and his family ample opportunity to see the hand of God mold, shape, and transform hearts and lives, including their own. Following a missions trip to the Philippines in 2006, James' call to ministry was radically challenged and changed. A passion for intentional one-on-one evangelism and discipleship became his heartbeat and joy. Working with international students on the ASU campus has become a natural outpouring of the ongoing story God is writing upon his heart.
High school sweethearts, James and Staci were married in 1989 and have 2 grown sons: Tyler and Travis. Their favorite annual family activity is spending a week relaxing together on Ocean Beach in San Diego.
B.S. in Church Music from Arizona Christian University, Phoenix, AZ 1989 with a Bible minor.
Learn more about where this ministry happens
In colorful communities and along scenic highways, diverse people and landscapes span coast to coast
Iconic American traditions include Thanksgiving dinner, jazz music and the Super Bowl. They meld with eclectic examples of multicultural heritage: numerous local Chinatowns, family-owned taquerias and even cowboy boots, which originated among the nomadic Huns of eastern Europe.
The nation's landscape shows just as many contrasts — sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, open plains and vast deserts, rugged mountains and winding canyons, and abundant rivers and lakes.
The ideals of life and liberty that founded the United States have made the country one of the world's most prosperous, though not without dark chapters and present troubles. Crime, discrimination and ethics violations make regular headlines, and many people live below the national poverty level.
Families view education as essential to the pursuit of happiness, if not also a path to wealth and power for the most ambitious. Yet Americans also demonstrate a charitable spirit of generosity toward neighbors and nations in need.
Freedom of religion grants opportunity for all faiths, but Christianity holds particular influence in country's history and daily life.
Your participation with Missions Door supports ministry in the United States among college students, including many international students, in collaboration local churches. It also enables social outreach, church planting and leadership development in a wide variety of communities — among Native Americans and other cultural groups, and in urban and suburban settings where growing and changing demographics create new opportunities for the Gospel.
Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans and their ancestors immigrated to the United States.
In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives” — a larger number than any other wealthy nation.
Population: 320 million
Major Religions: 47% Protestant, 23% unaffiliated, 21% Catholic, 6% other
Languages: 82% English, 11% Spanish, various others
Ministry service area:
Arizona, United States