Jim is a family man and has been married to Jean Savley since 1970. Jim and Jean have four children and 11 grandchildren. He was born in 1948 in Springfield, Tennessee. Jim’s childhood was spent in Nashville until his family moved 30 miles away into the countryside in Greenbrier.
Jim spent his high school years there, where he was a letterman in football and formed deep friendships with his teammates and opponents throughout the Red River Valley Conference. Jim was awarded distinction as an “All Conference Football Player.” After graduating from high school in 1967, Jim joined the United States Marine Corps on the buddy plan with three of his close friends. They all served in Vietnam together, but two were killed. Jim served with the 3rd Battalion 26th Marines and received a Purple Heart for injuries he received in combat in the battle of Khe Sahn in March 1968.
After returning home Jim graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in 1973 and continued in their Master of Psychology program. Jim went to work in law enforcement. He served as a criminal investigator for the District Attorney’s office, conducting undercover campaigns leading the drug task force teams in Robertson and Sumner counties. Jim excelled in the investigative field and — after conducting undercover campaigns in a total of six counties — joined the Sumner County Sheriff’s Department as a detective.
The years as an undercover agent and criminal investigator led up to his conversion experience. Jim received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord on February 18th, 1976 about 1 p.m. in the courthouse in Springfield, Tennessee. His conversion was dynamic and complete. Over the following year God moved and many friends, family and acquaintances of Jim accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.
In 1978 Jim received God’s call into the gospel ministry. Jim was accepted into Liberty Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia in the fall of 1978. During his seminary years, Jim pastored Open Door Baptist Church, a small church in Halifax. Jim graduated from seminary in 1981 with a Master of Arts in Counseling.
Jim then joined the pastoral staff at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg where Dr. Jerry Falwell was the senior pastor. He became the first director of the Save A Baby Ministry at Thomas Road Baptist Church, helping establish the Family Life Services Adoption Agency and the Godparent Maternity Home. Jim led the pro-life/pro-family ministries for Thomas Road Baptist Church and appeared on The Old Time Gospel Hour TV Ministry with Dr. Jerry Falwell several times.
Jim and Jean received a call from the Lord in 1986 to return home to Tennessee and begin a Christian non-profit organization offering alternatives to abortion and finding adoptive families for orphans and vulnerable children. The call came during a church service where Dr. Francis Schaffer was preaching. Jim went forward and prayed at the altar where God confirmed what he wanted him to do. After which he was amazed to see Jean returning from the altar as well having received the same call from the Lord. The organization’s name is Small World, Inc. and its mission is to respond to James 1:27 by creating families through adoption and turning orphans and vulnerable children into sons and daughters.
Jim Savley Ministries (JSM) today includes Jim teaching in Guangdong Theological Seminary in Guangzhou, China. Jim frequently preaches in churches throughout China. The Loving Life TV broadcast takes the gospel message of Jesus to people around the globe. Videos of “Loving Life” can be viewed on our homepage. JSM conducts orphan rescue missions in orphanages in multiple countries in Africa and Asia.