Jim moved from New Jersey in the U.S. to the Samoan islands in 1989 as a final step before entering the seminary to join the Jesuit priesthood. That year he met Emi who was working with the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and was about to join the convent. In 1990, they abandoned their plans to become a priest and nun and were married instead. For the next six years Jim and Emi remained devout Roman Catholics, attending daily mass and having their four children baptized as infants. In 1996, Jim received Christ as Savior. Six months later Emi was saved. At that time they left the Catholic church and joined Grace Baptist Church in American Samoa.
Shortly after Jim and Emi were saved, baptized, and added to Grace Baptist Church, the missionary pastor of the church needed to leave the islands suddenly and the Lord led Jim to restart the church in his living room, renaming it Vai o le Ola (Living Waters) Baptist Church. From 1998 to 2009 the church grew from twelve to more than seventy members with their own building on their own land.
Jim and Emi are currently working on their second church plant, Asau Baptist Church, which began in 2010 with six members and now has over two hundred saved, baptized, and added. Ministries of Asau Baptist church include...
ABC Academy (preschool and primary school)
ABC Bible Institute (training national pastors and teachers).
Jim and Emi have also invested much time and energy on the Samoan Bible Project which has allowed the Samoan people to receive the entire Word of God freely in their own language. Along with this, they have had Samoan New Testaments, Samoan John and Romans, and several tracts printed in the Samoan language. They are also currently working on the first Samoan Concordance and the the first Samoan Baptist Hymnal.