EMI CEO Jim Hall

Earlier this morning, our CEO here at EMI, Jim Hall, went home to be with the Lord. He was 57. Jim passed after a very brief bout with the reoccurrence of his melanoma cancer first diagnosed in his foot in Sept 2010. He had been given the all clear for just over a year, but unfortunately, the cancer returned aggressively in mid October.

Jim and his wife Nancy had flown to Florida to be with family a week ago Saturday and at that time he was doing fairly well with the help of medication (for pain). On Tuesday they had their family Thanksgiving dinner. But that night, he suffered a stroke and lost mobility on his left side. His symptoms then progressed rapidly, and his communication became less and less. By Saturday, he was no longer responsive and it was clear the end was near.
We are all in a bit of shock here that things happened so quickly – it was just earlier this month when we learned that his cancer had spread and that he’d be stepping away to battle it, and he joined our office Thanksgiving party a week and a half ago on the 18th seeming like the same old Jim.
Perhaps it’s an answer to our prayers that he didn’t suffer on and on, as he was getting more and more uncomfortable with each day. Nonetheless, it has struck us all pretty hard here at EMI as we process no longer having Jim around.

I know when someone you don’t know dies it’s hard to imagine what kind of loss it is for those close to the person, but I can tell you that Jim was a pretty special man. He led this ministry with an open hand, never grasping on to the power of his role or making anyone feel as if they were beneath him. He was a consensus builder, and as such, a very good listener – yet he was a man of deep conviction and could make good decisions quickly. He was equally comfortable meeting with leaders of different countries around the world through the years as he was hanging out in his swimsuit in Uganda with us and throwing our boys in the pool. He had a disarming nature about him that made him a friend to all who had the privilege of getting to know him.
I think what struck me most personally about Jim was how comfortable he was in most any situation. He was anyman to everyman, and was not at all challenged by someone thinking differently than him - in fact he seemed to enjoy the differences amongst people. His faith was strong, and as such he didn’t seem to have any of the typical hang-ups with this or that nuance regarding faith matters. He had a very personal and open relationship with God and expressed it in a way that was very natural and unrehearsed. In a few talks I had with him about God, he never claimed to have a full understanding of God and how He works in the world, but he trusted Him implicitly nonetheless based on how he had seen Him work in and through his own life. When he led our morning devotions in the bible, it was always done in the manner of "let's see what God has for us in His word this morning" as opposed to an instructional tone that might have placed him above those he was speaking to.
Of course I believe every one of us is a sinner that falls short of God’s standard. However, when I think of what Jesus might’ve been like here on earth I am reminded of so many of the qualities I saw in Jim. And in the same way that the disciplines must have felt abandoned and somewhat lost when Jesus left them abruptly at the height of His ministry, I think we at EMI all feel the loss of not having the time we thought we would have with Jim. Of course, EMI will go on. It is afterall God’s ministry that is not based on any one person. But even so, Jim will be a very difficult person to replace and his loss will be felt throughout our ministry for a long time.
We would appreciate your prayers here for the entire EMI family, and especially for Nancy. They both (Jim & Nancy) have been very solid in all of this, confident in the hope that lies ahead for Jim as he prepared to pass into the presence of God for eternity.


Anonymous said…
Speechless.... Praying for Nancy and the future of EMI. May God's will be done.
Traci Morrow said…
Oooh, my heart grieves over this news. I've spent much time in prayer & fasting for Jim and Nancy & their family, and will continue to do so. I'm so sorry for the loss of such a solid servant. Its weird when you pray for someone & their grief and loss, and how you feel so connected. I had so hoped God would say yes to a physical healing, but trusting Him with a grieved heart in the no.

Gary MacPhee said…
good word my friend,good word - thanks for posting... you summed up a lot of what we all worked through together today with tears and prayer and sharing... even some laughter...I still need to communicate with all my partners too - mind if I just send them to your blog?:)
Lynn Lascola said…
Wonderfully written. Thank you for such a beautiful tribute to my cousin. He will be deeply missed by many.
Saundra Blank said…
Brad and Alisa, I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of EMI CEO Jim Hall. I'm sure this is very difficult as it happened so quickly. Please know we will be praying for you and the EMI staff. Thanks for sharing your heart. Saundra Blank
CAbobcat said…
Thank you for the kind words on Jim's passing.

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