James D. (Jim) Perdue, missionary with the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, is assigned to a new partnership between the Desert Southwest Conference and the national office of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries for Immigration and Border Ministry. Jim previously served in the Iowa Annual Conference as co-coordinator for Hispanic Ministry.
Through this new ministry, Jim facilitates the participation of these two groups in the their goal of effecting U.S. comprehensive immigration reform; interprets the United Methodist biblical and theological understanding of immigration to United Methodist congregations and agencies, assisting them where appropriate in developing ministries of compassion and justice in the areas of immigration and border ministry; assists and informs groups and agencies working on the creation of models of vocational training, assistance centers, and various economic empowerment projects that benefit immigrants on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border; and leads the creation of replicable models of ministry with immigrants, including working with conference United Methodist Women leadership to develop ministry with immigrant women and children. He also assists in strengthening the work of Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), particularly in the Western Jurisdiction.
Jim feels a deep calling to work with and among the Hispanic/Latino community that is growing as a productive part of the emerging United States of America. Jim shares, “God is now doing a marvelous new thing in the world. While societies have been rewriting the face of the global economy, God has been changing the face of the people actually living in that world. This means that God is offering us the gift of a new interracial and intercultural people in the U.S. Our church is being invited to an exciting new banquet and we need to be dressed and to act appropriately in order to attend this great celebration. We need to take off the old clothing of our racist and classist past and clothe ourselves in the love and compassion of Christ.”
Born in Charleston, WV, Jim earned an A.B. in Religion and Philosophy from Morris Harvey College in Charleston in 1973. He continued his education at Drew Theological School in Madison, NJ, received his Masters of Divinity in Ministry in 1977, and was ordained in 1978. Jim has worked in disaster recovery in Des Moines from 1993-1994, pastor and youth worker in Argentina from 1994-1999, again in Iowa in West Des Moines from 1999-2001 as a youth pastor, and then began his ministry with the NPHLM in 2001.
Married to Neva Thorn for forty-two years, they have four grown children and twelve grandchildren. Neva is currently serving as a pastor in the Iowa Conference, meaning that they use a lot of cell phone minutes processing the events of each day.
Jim’s hobbies include painting, cooking, and listening to jazz and tango.
: Desert Southwest Annual Conference
, Iowa Annual Conference
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