Jim Imler


Retired Support Staff
“Just Be Thankful for Each Day”
By Erin Curtis, writing intern
April 2016

No matter what occupation he’s had, Jim Imler has dedicated his life to the service of others. After working as an accountant for 31 years, he worked at World Gospel Mission in various positions before retiring in March 2009. During those nine years at WGM, Jim formed relationships with missionaries and staff that have continued into his retirement.

Jim was born on June 3, 1945, and grew up in Marion, Indiana. His father was a factory worker at Farnsworth, RCA in Marion, and his mother was a homemaker. He had good relationships with his younger brother and both of his parents. “My folks always helped us along the way,” Jim said. The family attended Sunnycrest United Methodist Church in Marion, of which Jim and four generations of his family are still members. 

After graduating from Marion High School, Jim earned his associate’s degree in accounting from Indiana Business College. Before coming to WGM, he worked as an accountant for 31 years at Active Products Corp., an automotive stamping plant in Marion. The company went out of business in 1999, resulting in layoffs that influenced Jim to take a positon at WGM.

Jim has maintained many relationships he made at Active Products over the years and has good memories of working with friends. Jim remarked that “knowing you gave it your best and helped your fellow Americans and community” has been a joy in looking over his time at the company.

In 2000, Jim began working at WGM. For the first three years, he held the position of payroll clerk. After that, Jim moved into groundskeeping, in part to open the payroll position for a WGM missionary coming off the field. “Desk jobs are wonderful, but after a while you want to try something different,” Jim said. He took pride in cleaning all of the buildings on the WGM campus and maintaining the grounds as a means of serving the staff and missionaries. 

While at WGM, Jim enjoyed the unique opportunity of working with his daughter, Kim Burke. He often helped her with tasks, like decorating for events at headquarters and assisting with various projects. Forming relationships with missionaries who visited was also one of the main highlights. “I met a lot of wonderful people over the years—still have several of them on my email,” he said. Jim worked to meet the needs of the staff and missionaries in small ways, like running errands or simply just hearing their stories.

Being at WGM expanded Jim’s faith and his opportunities to serve others. “It made me a stronger Christian, knowing people in foreign countries and the stories they have to bring back. It’s wonderful to be able to pray for them and do things for them.”

In retirement, Jim remains invested in the lives of those around him. He and his wife help out at Sunnycrest UMC however they can, whether that means cleaning the building or driving church members places. Gardening, fishing, and hunting for arrowheads on his farm are just a few of the little pleasures Jim enjoys. Family has been a central part of this season of life. Jim and his wife love the chance to be involved in the lives of their son, daughter, and granddaughter, and they take many vacations together. 

God has been teaching Jim about making the most of his time during this season. One piece of advice he gives, “Just be thankful for each day the good Lord gives you and make the best of it.”