Jim Kennedy and his wife Cath immigrated to New Zealand from Scotland in 1966, and it was in Invercargill that Jim was drawn to The Salvation Army. It was a cold and wet Sunday night in the early 1970s when this broken man, not knowing where to turn next, found himself slipping into the back seat of the hall, attracted by the sound of music that was filling the street as the Sunday night meeting began. Before long, Jim was kneeling at the Mercy Seat asking for forgiveness and making Jesus Christ his Lord and Saviour.
Jim stood a new man, never again mastered by the bottle. This encounter with God marked the beginning of a life of transformation. He was subsequently enrolled as a senior soldier and began visiting local hotels with the War Cry.
Moving to Whakatane in the early 80s with his wife and family, Jim quickly found his place in the corps and community. He was corps sergeant major for 22 years and even in retirement kept a keen eye on every aspect of corps life, encouraging the younger generation with his children’s stories. Jim was a keen member of many organisations, including Lions, Toastmasters, the Whakatane Cycle Club and the Model Train Society.
Jim was ‘Promoted to Glory’ on 17 April 2010. Jim was never ashamed of the Gospel and never short of words. He took every opportunity to share his faith. Words that sum up Jim’s life are in the song ‘Would you be free from your burden of sin? There’s power in the blood …’ and in 2 Timothy 4:7, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.’