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Student Life

2014 Lecturer

2014 Thielman Lecture Featured Speaker

Montreat College invites the community to two lectures by Jim Wood on Wednesday, April 9 in Gaither Chapel on the college’s main campus. Jim will present two lectures: “Knowing” at 10 a.m. and “Guarding the Treasure” at 7 p.m. Both lectures are part of the annual Calvin Thielman Lecture Series and are free and open to the public.

Growing up in Montreat, NC, Jim Wood began preaching at the age of fifteen. The first time he preached at the Montreat Church he was stunned to see Dr. Billy Graham in the congregation. Jim never dreamed that years later he would serve as director of mobilization for the largest evangelistic effort in U.S. history, My Hope America with Billy Graham. Along the way he pastored churches on Cape Cod, in Atlanta, and Tennessee. But the dream God gave him as a teen was to open a home and school for children from families in crisis. That dream came true when Jim and his wife Susan started Wears Valley Ranch in 1991. In a pristine setting adjoining the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Ranch offers two homes for boys, two homes for girls, a counseling center, and a fully accredited K-12 school. The innovative tutorial model of education which they pioneered has become a model for other ministries across the U.S. and around the world. There is also a summer camp, radio ministry, and conference facilities serving hundreds of visitors and volunteers each year. From its founding, the Ranch has operated debt-free and without government funds relying on God’s miraculous provision and demonstrating the power of God through answered prayer.

Rather than receiving a salary from the Ranch, Jim maintains an itinerant preaching ministry, filling pulpits, and speaking at conferences and retreats. He and his wife have authored 14 books. They have seven children and seven grandchildren.