Jim & Susan Wood
Founder & Executive Director
Jim Wood is the Founder and Executive Director of Wears Valley Ranch. Growing up in Montreat, North Carolina, Jim began preaching at age fifteen. After graduating from Gordon College in Massachussetts, Jim married Susan McDonald of Shreveport, Louisiana. They began married life at French Camp Academy in Mississippi, where they were house parents and teachers for two years. From French Camp, Jim returned to New England and attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where he earned a M.A. in Church History.
After pastoring in New England for five years, Jim was called as senior pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Sandy Springs, Georgia. He served there for six years. During that time he was instrumental in developing a network of relationships among pastors of various denominations who covenanted to pray for one another, encourage one another, and hold one another accountable. He was also a leader in efforts to defend the sanctity of human life and helped reverse the policy of his own denomination’s ethics agency regarding abortion.
In 1991, Jim, Susan and their three sons left Mount Vernon to fulfill a vision for which they had prayed for over twenty years. In the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, they established Wears Valley Ranch to provide Christian homes, education, and counseling for children from difficult family situations.
While serving as Executive Director of Wears Valley Ranch, Jim has continued his preaching and teaching ministry, often focusing on marriage and family issues. Jim’s radio program, “Abiding in Christ” airs weekdays on SiriusXM channel 131 and 106.7 The Light, Knoxville, TN. He and his wife, Susan, have authored several books and are much in demand to lead seminars on marriage and parenting. Jim also serves as Senior Pastor of Covenant Community Church of Wears Valley, a family-integrated congregation in Sevier County, Tennessee.
“God has assembled an outstanding team of committed individuals to serve the complex needs of the children at Wears Valley Ranch. Most of these individuals wear more than one hat and thus appear multiple times in this section. Many team members are either unpaid volunteers, or raise their own support outside of the Ranch’s budget. We are grateful for each of them and the impact they make in showing Jesus’ love to the children.” -Jim and Susan Wood
To contact Jim Wood please visit PastorWood.org