Jim Wood, Senior Pastor
Email: jim@fpcnorfolk.org
 
Jim Wood, our Senior Pastor since 1999, came to Christ in his mid-twenties.  After a successful early career in the business world, he heard a call to pastoral ministry. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Princeton Theological Seminary and Drew University, he is currently a PhD. candidate in Global Leadership at Regent University.  
 
Having known each other since high school in South Carolina, Jim & his wife Sheryl married in their early twenties.  Sheryl serves on staff at FPC as the Mission Outreach Coordinator.

Their three sons - Ross, Adam and Zach - are high-energy young men:  Ross is currently serving in a refugee camp in South Sudan, while Adam and Zach still call Norfolk home. The Wood household is rounded out by their wonderful dog, Maxx.

Jim’s passion for sharing Christ is lived out through his preaching and teaching, pastoral care and his love for outreach.  Having led dozens of mission teams (in Russia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kenya, and Sudan, among others), his commitment to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and deed is deeply felt and long-term.

During Jim’s most recent sabbatical leave, he, Sheryl, Adam & Zach lived in Kenya on the grounds of Nazareth Hospital, a mission hospital with which First Presbyterian partners in vital AIDS and hunger ministries.  In celebration of their love and commitment to the people of Kenya, the whole Wood family was adopted into the Kikuyu tribe, where Jim actually continues to serve as a traditional tribal elder.

Jim helped initiate the Tree of Lives cutting edge ministry to support the powerful ministry to AIDS/HIV+ patients at the Holy Family Centre at Nazareth Hospital - a work founded by medical missionaries/FPC members Drs. Richard and Judith Brown. Leading teams from the States, he usually spends a couple of months each year in his second homeland.

Jim has served on the Norfolk Homelessness Taskforce and other community boards.  In addition, he has helped gain more support and funding for Ghent Area Ministries, an organization started by Norfolk area churches to provide for those in desperate economic need.  He has also taken an active role in developing a Stateside Nicaragua Vida Joven Board to encourage American churches to help the ministry of Young Life.  Jim also serves on the Board of Visitors for Montreat College.

Most recently, Jim has taught at Columbia Seminary with Seminary President, Steve Hayner, in mission and spirituality and has become increasingly engaged in teaching and coaching congregational leaders across the country.  His writing interests currently center around biblical and ecclesial leadership models.  And in May, 2011, at the invitation of the Anglican Bishop of Jamaica, Jim began work in spiritual formation and leadership with Jamaican priests and church leaders.  

Running, cycling, surfing, backpacking and reading serve to re-create Jim’s life when the Atlanta Braves are losing.  His most recent life-goal was reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft.) with his oldest son, Ross.  The challenge this year is to complete the Ironman triathlon distances (swim, bike, run) – just not on the same day.