jim & denise manchester
Jim and Denise have been married for 25 years and have two adult children. They met overseas while serving in the United States Air Force. Over the years, Jim and Denise have served in a variety of community service roles, including 4-H, after school programs, a county veterans’ board, and at a multi-purpose community center in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Jim previously served as the worship director at Evanston Alliance Church in Evanston, WY from 2008 to 2012, while still running his audio/video and automation business that he established in 1996. In 2012, Jim decided to take a sabbatical from his business, and went with Denise and their daughter Elise to serve with CAMA Services International in Mongolia for a year. During this year of cross-cultural ministry, Jim was the field’s accountant and business manager, and Denise was the director of the UBean Coffee Shop & Roasterie at the Grain of Wheat multipurpose center in Ulaanbaatar (UB). Jim also served at the international church, Cornerstone Church of All Nations, in UB as a worship leader. Part way through the year, Jim and Denise made the decision to sell out of their business of 17 years, and make the transition to full time ministry.
Jim received an offer to serve with Missionary Alliance Church in Blairsburg, Iowa, beginning in August of 2013. While there, Jim filled many roles as an associate pastor, including youth ministry, Christian education, worship, tech ministries, short term missions team leader, and helped out with administrative tasks at the church. Denise also filled many roles, establishing a new coffee shop in the church, working with the youth ministry, and providing mentorship and counseling for young women in the church.
Throughout their time in ministry, Jim and Denise have always had a strong desire to be a part of missions work, and specifically sensed a strong call to be a part of community development work. Their times living overseas have given them a great deal of empathy and compassion for the difficulties that newcomers to a foreign country face. God was faithful in providing just such an opportunity to help newcomers, as they now work with resettled refugees and other immigrants as Co-Directors of Refugee Ministry for Envision Cleveland!