ELI Project Director
Rev. Jim and Shari Whittle
Shari and Jim both grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and first met at Centre College of Kentucky in 1979. In 1981 we married and moved to Atlanta to finish school – Shari getting a BSN at Emory University and Jim earning a Bachelors in Applied Math from Centre and Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. In 1984 we moved to Palm Bay, Florida to work in the Aerospace Industry and joined an exciting, growing, missional church there – Covenant PCA. After joining the Session as a Ruling Elder in 1987, Jim left his engineering job in 1989 to work on church staff and attend Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando.
In January 1993 we planted a daughter church 13 miles away – Northside PCA in Melbourne, Florida. The focus of our church was small groups designed to be growing missional fellowships in the community and our energy was spent on evangelism and discipling leaders. In 2001 we moved to Douglasville, Georgia to pastor Chapel Hill PCA. Once again our focus was on discipling leaders. We both have led multiple disciple groups training leaders in our own church. Along with that emphasis in our local church Jim has served the broader church by helping lead the Church Planting Network of North Georgia in which we train and coach church planters both inside and outside the PCA. Jim is an assessor for MNA’s church planter assessment center and a certified Church Planting Coach with Church Multiplication Ministries.
In 2008 Jim first traveled to India in direct response to answered prayer. In 2009-2011 Jim took 3 more trips to India, inviting ELI Director Don Mountan along to lead the trips because of our desire to train leaders and Don’s experience doing that around the world. In 2011, the Lord opened the door for us to join ELI staff and focus our full-time energy to train leaders in India. You could say India is in our blood. We are praying that by 2040 there will be half a billion Christians in India.
We have been married over 30 years and have 5 children and 4 grandsons –Two of our children are “homegrown” and three are adopted Jamaicans.