About Founder Dr. Jim Richards

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Hi, I’m Jim Richards, President and Founder of Impact Ministries. Over 40 years ago I was a drug using, rock n’ roll hippie living “in the scene” in Huntsville. People were afraid to tell me about God. Back in those days the church was scared to death of hippies. I guess they all thought we were “long-haired, Charley Manson-type murderers” or something. I was desperate to find God but I just couldn’t get anyone to tell me about Him.
I actually went around to some preachers and asked for help. Some of them told me I was going to Hell. (I knew that. That was why I was asking for help.) Others went as far as to tell me not to get all worked up, no one was going to Hell.
For me, it was about a lot more than going to Hell. First, I was sick of me. I hated all that my life had become. I was mean, vile, angry and tormented. I wanted freedom from me. I wanted to know God. All of my life I had longed to know God. As a child I once asked a preacher to tell me about God; he told me I was too young. And yes, I wanted to avoid Hell.
Several times I overdosed on drugs and contemplated suicide. The one thing that stopped me was the reality that I would spend eternity in Hell. I was too miserable to live and unable to escape through death. So, drugs were my means of escape and relief.
I played in bands around Huntsville and the southeast but I was not a “happy camper.” I prayed continually for God to help me and to give me the power to change. This was very ironic since most of my friends thought I was an atheist. I guess when you’re scum, people just think you don’t believe in God.
I believed in God, I just didn’t know Him. What I did know about Him was way too weird. I lived with various relatives who were Christians. Don’t get me wrong, these were good people who were really good to me. But when they started talking about God, you better duck, because they were going to fight! I knew I didn’t want what they had, but I still wanted God.
One day while driving to Athens to try out a new bass player for a band, Chris Stephens, a former Huntsvillian, who now owns a music store in Chattanooga, began to tell me about his cousin who got “religion.” Ernie, Chris’ cousin, was a drug dealer in Atlanta. As Chris ranted and raved about how his “blank-blank” cousin had got “blank-blank” religion, he actually quoted Bible verses.
In the middle of all the profanity, I got enough truth to find out how to get saved. I let Chris out of the car and began to pray. I gave my life to Jesus and had a supernatural encounter with God. I don’t know how to explain it other than to say it was a revelation of God as the Source of pure love. I didn’t understand the theology, I just knew that Jesus died for me and that if I would believe on Him, God would give me a new life…and He did!
That very day I was set free of drugs and alcohol. My whole life changed! I’ve never been alone since then. God has been real enough to get me through everything that life can throw at you. I would love to tell you that I’ve done everything right since then but that would be far from the truth. I’ve walked with God. I’ve failed. I’ve even gotten in sin. But God never gave up on me. He’s walked me through my stuff and loved me every step of the way.
I’ve been ministering for overt 40 years. In 1972, I got saved and went almost straight to the streets. I began winning the hippies and druggies to the Lord. I’ve seen God do great things in the lives of those who wanted Him. There’s no one God can’t help and there’s no one He doesn’t love. I’ve committed my life to helping people experience the love of God. If my life is a model for anything, it is the fact that God never quits on you.
No matter what you do. No matter where you’ve been. At anytime you desire to know God or come back to God, just stop running. Accept His love. Accept the fact that Jesus paid the price to set you free. Like my friend, Don Francisco, says in his song, “I don’t care where you’ve been sleeping. I don’t care who’s made your bed. I already gave My life to set you free. There’s no sin you can imagine that is stronger than My love. It’s all yours if you’ll come home again to Me.”
~ Jim Richards
Jim Richards currently holds an earned Ph.D., Th.D. an O.M.D. He received an honorary “Doctor of World Evangelism” for outreach and ministry in the Philippines. He has over 40 years of successful ministry experience that includes crusades, and pioneering churches in America and around the world; as a best-selling author he has published dozens of books, booklets, workbooks and ministry development programs that are distributed world wide; He has conducted international leadership conferences and has pastored a successful local church in Huntsville, AL.
He holds certifications in many areas of human development and is a State recognized & certified, addictions counselor. To stay in touch with the needs of the world, he continually seeks training and experience in a wide range of fields including alternative medicine, human behavior and other practical areas, all of which are applied to becoming a more effective believer and minister who is reaching and helping humanity.


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  1. Sharon (Cat) Prevette Avatar
    Sharon (Cat) Prevette

    I took 2 years of post high school training so that I could teach elementary school in the 60’s. I have had many years of teaching experience in various fields since and enjoy it but I’ve never been motivated to finish a degree till now. Since reading about your school of ministry I find myself excited about taking your courses for my own growth but also because I find myself already leading and teaching this material and would like a more thorough grounding in it.
    No costs are sighted. Where do I find these? ^..^ XOX

    1. admin Avatar

      each course costs $149USD. You can either take them online here (we haven’t finished all the courses yet) or purchase the mp3 downloads at impactministries.com/shop

      1. Moses Avatar

        Dear Dr, James B Richards,
        How are you doing today you and your family and the origanzation?, thanks you very much for your prayers and continue response to my massage
        Evangelist Moses Kwee
        Bible Believing Church
        West Africa Liberia
        +231 777 94 54 85

        1. Estella Cotter Avatar
          Estella Cotter

          I am so grateful for this ministry. Jim is one of a handful of teachers who I trust. I love that his mission is to connect people to the love of God. To bring them to the cross, to bring them to the place where they know and experience who they are in Christ. Thank you, Jim and everyone at Impact Ministries for answering and remaining faithful to the call of God on your lives.

        2. Joel Mouti Avatar
          Joel Mouti

          Dear Servant Of God,
          We are glad for your faith and truth which you have posted on your website which indicate that God has inspired you more about the word of God. We praise be to
          God because He has purpose why we have been directed to contact you to join our local congregation which have the Brethren who are 112 who are glad to have you as our spiritual leader who can inspire us more
          because our prayer is that we need to grow in the word so that even uscan spread the word before the second coming of Jesus Christ . God bless you as we look forward to hear from you.
          Yours in service Pastor Joel

          1. admin Avatar

            We do not have an association you can join but we do have a program where we will send you the curriculum for our Bible College free of charge so you can use it to train your congregation. If you are interested email iisom@impactministries.com

      2. Brenda Avatar

        I can’t find any other way to contact you so please I trust you get this. I love your dog Hooch. I hurt for you and Brenda. I know the extreme pain. The many questions to God. . I have three poodles. Soo much pain heart ache. I’m there too. I could write so much. I’ve been there many times. You are both so wonderful to share with others how terrible the pain is. I think of God let us have them in heaven and all eternity. We know how wonderful they filled our hearts. I’m so thankful you share your pain
        I’ve been there and have three more I’m hoping God will let me have them in eternity. L know the love and the loss. Thank you for sharing Hooch we are looking for God’s love to let them be eternal with us in our new home. Thank you for sharing witt us. I feel the extreme pain. I’ve experienced it. Hooch picture I hold you and Hooch in my heart. I believe God’s love will let them be eternal with us. Nothing is too hard for God and I believe in God love. Thank you for helping me. God Bless Brenda in Meridian Idaho and three little poodles.

        1. admin Avatar

          Thank you for sharing with us your compassion. I know absolutely that our pets that we love so dearly do go to heaven to wait for us there. Many times they stay with our loved ones until we arrive. I know my pets are all at my father’s ranch enjoying heaven with him. Be blessed.

  2. Carla Mcmullen Avatar
    Carla Mcmullen

    Hello. What does alternative medicine entail?

    1. admin Avatar

      Alternative medicine is really anything that uses different modalities other than surgery and drugs which are standard methods of treatment used by Western medicine.

  3. NEIL DANGALE Avatar

    Hi Dr Richard I have been in the ministry for 30yrs I have never heard anyone simplify the gospel of Christ the way you do. May you please provide me with the School of Ministry material so I can help our people who are stii bound by doctrines of man and traditions I will appreciate your help my Adress is No 2 AGAPANTHUS GERMISTON 1401 RSA

    1. admin Avatar

      Please email iisom@impactministries.com and we will explain our Project One Billion Bible school program.


    Hello, Dr Richard and Stephanie Mckenzie

    Thank you very much Project One Billion Bible school program

    May GOD Bless you in all

  5. jeremy M wonders Avatar
    jeremy M wonders

    Hello Jim.am in kenya.to be honest I believe I got born again when I read gospel of peace.I thought I was born again but gospel of peace convinced me that I have to believe gospel of peace to be really born again.I have read all your books except breaking the cycle and removing invisible boundaries and any other recent book.please how can I gain access to them

    1. admin Avatar
      1. Gloria mcclung Avatar
        Gloria mcclung

        Please pray for my daughter sherry bc she has COVID and bronchitis and is very sick and also her daughter who has mental disorders. Saw your wonderful YouTube about the beloved dog you lost. I cried like a baby bc I lost a beloved dog also. Please pray fory family, God bless you. I felt that you were a true Christian, which is rare in this day and age. My daughter Sherry had a near death experience and saw all her childhood pets. The Lord bless you and your ministry.

        1. admin Avatar

          Praying for your family. The pets that we have loved do go to heaven so I am sure she did see all her childhood pets.

  6. Mark Avatar

    Hello ,
    My Pastor has suggested I read your book GRACE. I must say it is helping me understand my constant struggle with myself. I was clean for over twenty five years and have resumed using again. I believe I was saved about 13 years ago but the ride has always been up & down. Right now the wife & I are separating and I am struggling. However I am attempting to believe that this is happening for a reason. Maybe this is Gods plan for me to find that Grace you talk about. Anyways thank you for listening .

    1. admin Avatar

      Hi Mark, I just want to remind you that sin no longer has dominion over you, God’s grace makes you an overcomer.

    2. Kimberly Pearce Avatar
      Kimberly Pearce

      I will pray for you and your wife, Mark.

      1. Tim Ryan Avatar
        Tim Ryan

        Challenging concepts.
        I search your theory, in scriptures.
        Alternatively using different terms to background teachings.
        Directions to sermons on the Heart/emotions
        And Intentions,Thankyou

  7. Kathryn Lynn Alexander Avatar
    Kathryn Lynn Alexander

    This man is amazing. I was so happy to have found a church that had a service available at a time we could make it without fail. Our schedules made it so that Sundays early morning traditional style service they had we couldn’t make it to but easily the Saturday night service that Impact offered at the time fit perfectly into our schedules, and also was appealing in terms of the modern music, cafe-style candle-lit tables with white fancy table cloths and free popcorn that really brings in the younger crowd. His voice commanded even my infant daughter’s attention in a way even I could not. So, when we lost our daughter at 6 months and 26 days old, there was one thing I was not negotiating on despite being offered many other options and that was who I desired to do her Eulogy. It was important to me that it was someone who knew her. This wonderful man cancelled important meetings with very important higher up clergy members just to come to her funeral and do her eulogy. This will always be the greatest honor that I have been blessed with from any church or pastor ever because it was beyond expectations or even just a possibility of a thought after we were told that he had an impossible schedule that day. And even if you know an infant, what could one say about her that would matter enough to require a specific person’s eulogy or make another person’s eulogy not fulfilling enough to accept, thus probably a silly thing to have been so firm about in the first place, but as soon as he heard about our loss and my request, he did everything in his power to make it happen for us without complaint or rushing through the service at all. Later when we got a cd of that Saturday’s church recording we missed due to her funeral and he had a prayer and moment of silence for her “our youngest
    church member” he called her. I will always regret my distance with his church after her death as his voice was something I could not hear anymore without calling apart and feeling sad that we were coming to church without her, so I never went back and now I know my life sure needs him!

    Also…he understands addiction in a way that really connects with people, instead of the cliche advice coming from people that have never been there themselves. His church family is so understanding and non judgemental, regardless of sexuality, if you have tattoos, or how you dress he promotes “God loves you no matter what” and fully believes it.

    You can tell he is genuinely interested in helping people and bringing people to God’s love because he would have something for everyone. Classes and bible studies and church services to fit people of all types, single people, young people, old people, and even addicts.
    And when Impact was closing, he brought the church to his own home before ever considering to close the church completely. He does not make you feel like those preachers with fat pockets repeating bible verses, and helping themselves to the tithe plates. He makes you feel that he doesn’t just want to help your problems, but actually understand you so he can help you better.

    This guy is a one of a kind, looks at his wife like she is the 8th wonder of the world, and has not only aged gracefully but dresses quite youthfully and snazzy, and makes his line of work his entire lifes purpose. He will go to the lowest of places just to bring the most in need to God and does so in a way that doesn’t feel like bible thumping judgy religious types that preach in a way that feels like a lecture. He shows you how God is not just in our blessings, but also how God is sometimes in the bad, if you can hold on long enough to see what could come out of a bad situation. And he taught me how worry is practiced atheism.

    This man is epic and if you should be so lucky as to meet him, you will probably learn something you’ll never forget and possibly change your life forever. I know he was sent to us from the big man himself and I’m so happy he listened to that call!

    I just got baptized for the first time, and what I’m experiencing lately, has brought me back to him because God has undeniably spoke to me so clearly my new understanding makes me want to share my testimony and experiences with him instantly and without thought even though it’s been well over a decade since I’ve seen him, so Gods message will cross our paths again and I am actually excited for the day that comes!

    1. Jeannette Moore Avatar
      Jeannette Moore

      May God continue to bless you Kathryn! I’m sorry that you’ll have to wait to see your precious baby, but just know that you will one day. Sending you love ❤️

  8. Pastor Chinyanta Chiwela Avatar
    Pastor Chinyanta Chiwela

    Greetings to you Dr James. Am Pastor Chinyanta Chiwela of Zambia. I have just completed the Degree course under your School as the name is its truly an impact i have been impacted my life, my family, my ministry are never the same. The insights in all the courses have so much impact such that i have started seeing things differently.
    Sir I’m really grateful that you heard from God to impact the Lives world over.

    May the LORD add more years to your life and bless you and your team.

  9. Guido Stucco Avatar
    Guido Stucco

    Dear Dr. Jim, where did you earn your Ph.D. and Th.M. from and in what years?

  10. Dr Larry Tolbert Avatar
    Dr Larry Tolbert

    Dr James, you and I have met in Tulsa, Ok. I develop curriculum for WORLD Bible Theology Seminary and plan on using you material for student courses. I’m in need of your book, The Lost Art of Leadership. Do you still publish it? Would love the opportunity to contact you. My number is:
    You can view our website at:
    wbtsok.com We are launching before end of the year.
    Blessings, Dr Larry

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