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Longtime campus minister and Appalachian Outreach founder celebrated upon retirement

Rev. Jim Wilson leads a student team during 2012's Operation Inasmauch service day.

Rev. Jim Wilson leads a student team during 2012’s Operation Inasmuch service day.

On this side of life, we are often known by what we do. Rev. Jim Wilson is therefore known, in part, as a longtime C-N Campus Minister, Appalachian Outreach (and affiliated ministries) co-founder and executive director, mission trip leader, mentor, counselor, lover of Jesus and people, and, as of a couple of months ago, retiree.

Wilson’s family, friends and colleagues will celebrate his Kingdom service Sunday afternoon, Sept. 15 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Jefferson City’s First Baptist Church.

By Wilson’s own admission, he did not return to his alma mater as campus minister in 1984 with any intention of establishing the poverty ministry program that is now known across the county. In fact, having established such a program through what was then Cumberland College, he wanted a respite. But Karen and Kerry Smith, then newlyweds, had heard of Mountain Outreach’s success and thought Wilson’s model could work in the local region. They were right.

What began then, has, over the course of 30 years, provided Samaritan House, a food pantry, clothing distribution program, a furniture ministry and multiple training programs to help those in need regain a socio-economic foothold. Along the way, hundreds of homes have been restored to livable conditions, thousands of students have discovered gifts of ministry and countless volunteers have made their way to Jefferson City to serve Christ by serving others.

The event, hosted by C-N’s Campus Ministries Department and Student Affairs Division, will be held in FBC’s Fellowship Hall. Friends, AO supporters, C-N alumni and others who care for the honoree are invited.

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