In 1972, Dr. James B. Richards accepted Christ and answered the call to ministry. His dramatic conversion and passion to help hurting people launched him onto the streets of Huntsville, Alabama. Early on in his mission to reach teenagers and drug abusers, his ministry quickly grew into a home church that eventually led to the birth of Impact Ministries.
Prior to his salvation, Jim was a professional musician with all the trappings of a worldly lifestyle. More than anything, he was searching for true freedom. Sick of himself and his empty pursuits, he hated all that his life had become. He turned to drugs as a means of escape and relief. Although he was desperate to find God, his emotional outrage made people afraid to tell him about Jesus. As he searched for help, he only became more confused and hopeless than ever.
After listening to a drunk man in a bar grumbling about a verse of scripture that a Christian had shared with him, Jim had a miraculous encounter with God. From this one scripture, he was able to experience God’s love! He gave his life to the Lord and was set free from his addictions. His whole life changed! Now, after years of ministry, Jim still believes there’s no one that God cannot help, and there’s no one God does not love. He has committed his life to helping people experience that love. If his life is a model for anything, it is that God never quits on anyone.
With doctorates in theology, human behavior, and alternative medicine, and an honorary doctorate in world evangelism, Jim has received certified training as a detox specialist and drug counselor, as well as a trainer for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA). His uncompromising yet positive approach to the Gospel strengthens, instructs and challenges people to new levels of victory, power and service. Jim’s extensive experience in working with substance abuse, codependency, and other social/emotional issues has led him to pioneer effective, creative, bible-based approaches to ministry that meet the needs of today’s world.
Most importantly, Jim believes that people need to be made whole by experiencing God’s unconditional love. His messages are simple, practical, and powerful. His passion is to change the way the world sees God so that people can experience a relationship with Him through Jesus.
Jim and his wife, Brenda, have six daughters, 14 grandchildren, and continue to reside in Huntsville, Alabama.