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Onward Christian Solider

Jim Linzey continues on as the publisher of the military chaplains’ translation of the Bible, is starring in a new movie and is also producing a TV show.

Jim Linzey is a one-of-a-kind military chaplain who is still going strong. In fact, he is now the publisher of the military chaplains’ translation of the Bible, is starring in a new movie and produces a TV show.

Dan Wooding with Jim and Verna Linzey during his ‘His Channel Live’ TV interview with them

Born in San Diego, California, Jim Linzey grew up as a Navy “brat” traveling all over the United States as one of ten children of evangelist Dr. Verna Linzey and Navy Chaplain Stan Linzey.

In an interview, Linzey first of all explained about his upbringing and how it has affected his rather extraordinary life that still moving ahead at quite a pace.

“What my parents did as ministers was to provide me with a healthy church environment as I grew up,” he said. “The wonderful musical influences and television programming they allowed into our home motivated me to seriously seek to master the art of singing and speaking and to be on the stage in a variety of ways, developing and offering my abilities to God.”

He said that programs that he saw as he was growing up “brought out the best humankind has to offer: musical shows, classics, westerns and religious programming.”

Having musical parents, Jim and all his brothers and sisters were encouraged to study music outside school hours. Music played in his home included classical, military marches, country and western, and gospel.

First joint photo shoot for Verna and Jim Linzey in 1963

“Every time we would be driving down the road with the car radio on, when a catchy song was played, it would grab all of my attention to the degree that I felt the need to be able to perform like that,” Jim reminisced.

So he set out to develop his talents and did just that, now with three recordings to his credit and an arranger of his mother’s record “Oh Blessed Jesus,” videos, and numerous appearances singing on television and radio around the world.

The highlights of his life, however, he says was singing and recording with his mother, Verna, and forming the duo “The Linzeys.” They have appeared on television and radio for years.

Host of “Operation Freedom” television programs throughout Europe, the United States and the Far East in 2004-2005, Jim’s programs rivaled those of Armed Forces Television programming and was highlighted in the September 2004 issue of the Army Chief of Chaplains newsletter.

“But an even more significant undertaking has been my role as the senior editor of the King James Version (2011), translated by Armed Forces Chaplain to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and United States Military Chaplains,” said Jim.

The Committee on Bible Translation of the 2011 King James Version is comprised of seventeen chaplains and thirteen scholars, who have aided the chaplains by editing the translation, giving it the scholarship required.

This Holy Bible is the first to be translated by a committee of chaplains to the American and British Armed Forces. The chaplains represent churches such as the Church of England, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the General Council of the Assemblies of God, the Presbyterian Church of America, the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Syrian Orthodox Church and the United Methodist Church. The scholars represent institutions such as Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, Oral Roberts University, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, South Western Baptist Theological Seminary, Westminster Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School.

The Committee is devoted to making a good translation better and ensuring that the King James Version of 2011 is an accurate and unbiased update of the King James Version of 1611.

As an English Bible, the translation is dedicated to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Endorsements are being provided by five retired Flag Officers, one from each of the five American Armed Forces. The military edition will be called “The Leader’s Bible,” which will include military prayers written by American and British military chaplains hand-selected by Jim.

It will also include “The Meaning of Marriage,” “The Role of Chaplains to the Armed Forces,” Prayers of the Presidents, Hymns of the Armed Forces, “The 9 Leadership Traits,” from Jim’s book Moral Leadership, and much more. The King James Version (2011) 400th Anniversary Edition and The Leader’s Bible and numerous other editions of it will be published by Military Bible Association, the founder of which are Jim Linzey, his mother, Verna Linzey, and David Newberry.

Jim and Verna Linzey on tour in 2007

The most meaningful part of Jim’s journey as a believer, he told me, is being there for his mother and sacrificing his ambitions to attend to hers.

“She gave me life, and I owe her mine,” said Jim, “to do all I can to help her achieve her dreams and realize her potential. We both have been through hard times, but by standing together, not even the gates of hell can prevail against us no matter how hard they try.” Consequently, they are doing everything, plus more, that Jim has envisioned he would do when he was a child, including producing his mother’s television series “The Holy Spirit Today.”

A real power house, Linzey pulls no punches in dealing with leadership, professionalism, or integrity.

“Without a doubt, Jim Linzey has few equals. He is the consummate professional with great judgment, outstanding dependability, unquestioned ethics, superb leadership, great maturity, and is dynamically enthusiastic,” said Rear Admiral Bennett S. Sparks, United States Coast Guard-Retired.

Jim has been a successful military chaplain, much like his father, Captain Stanford E. Linzey, Jr., United States Navy, Retired. Jim was the supervising chaplain for the largest mobilization and demobilization mission in the continental United States; the first full-time chaplain for the Leader’s Training Course under the US Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky; served as Chaplain for the Officers Candidate School, Acting Installation Chaplain at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; and had many other high profile assignments.

When Jim was 16-years-old, he attended Prairie Bible Institute’s high school division in Three Hills, Alberta. And one day after class he was in his dormitory room. Having always been serious about his relationship with Christ, he asked God what He wanted him to be. And immediately and clearly, God spoke to Jim’s heart and told him “Chaplain.” From that day forward he proudly told his peers in high school, teachers, and Bible School students that he was going to be a chaplain. After attending Southern California College and Fuller Theological Seminary and pastoring for well over two years, he surpassed the qualifications to be a chaplain, and became one of the best, and a highly decorated one at that.

Jim has many callings on his life. Rather than being consumed by the chaplaincy, the chaplaincy was only part of Jim’s ministry which was much bigger than the military—television and radio ministry, books, recording, Bible translation, movies, but also being the “salt of the world” by opening for Ray Price, the Fifth Dimension’s Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., Billy Preston, Lou Gossett, Jr., the Emotions, not to mention Contemporary Christian Music’s Chuck Girard and Andrew Culverwell, an English Contemporary Christian music artist and songwriter.

A regular performer at Alamo Village, a movie set and tourist attraction north of Brackettville, Texas. It was the first movie location built in Texas, originally constructed for and best known as the setting for The Alamo (1960), directed by John Wayne and starring Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey and Frankie Avalon. It was there that Jim opened for singer Valentino and acted in the gun fights.

Opposition, however, is no stranger to Jim. While interviewing him, he recalls the incident when his mother, Verna, was invited to speak at a religious conference in Las Vegas. But, he said, “a few cowardly men made mean-spirited remarks about her, afraid of losing their limelight.”

So when Verna was disinvited by “one of the boys” in leadership of the event, she told Jim about it. Jim called up the organization saying, “I’m Major Jim Linzey and I heard that my mother was cancelled from speaking — what happened?”

He went on to say, “Well, it didn’t take much for their knees to start knocking, covering up lies with more lies to dispel the pressure of being confronted. These civilian ministers didn’t ever think they’d be confronted by a highly decorated Major.”

One, he said, began calling Verna “Sweetheart” adding, “Obviously, they had no integrity, so I encouraged my mother to focus on television work,” he said.

Jim’s calling as a military chaplain of 24 years has “strengthened my faith tremendously, because I have seen God transform the lives of Privates and Generals.”

He said that one Private who attempted suicide was actually a priest in the Church of Satan and ended up in the psych ward at John Randolph Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia. Being his chaplain, Jim visited the young man and heard his story. His fiancé left him when she discovered he was secretly a Satanic priest. She was a Christian and was deceived by him.

“He couldn’t handle her departure, so he tried to kill himself,” said Jim who then built a bridge of commonality between the two of them. They both had mothers who were ministers. Both understood the inner city — the Private having grown up in the inner city and Jim having taught in the inner city. They both were made fun of for being Christians in high school. And they were both in the Army now and both were ministers — though one in the Church of Satan and one in the Christian Church.

Jim says that he did not push Christianity onto the Private, but said, “I accept you unconditionally,” and asked for permission to pray with the Satanic priest and the Private consented.

Two week later, Chaplain Jim Linzey was counseling Soldiers at the barracks of Mike Company in the early evening, not knowing the Private was out of the hospital and back at these barracks. When Jim was through with counseling the Soldiers inside, he walked out of the barracks to leave. Unbeknownst to him, he walked right past the same Private he had counseled in the psych ward. Then he heard a voice call his name, “Chaplain Linzey.”

Jim says that he turned around and there sitting at the side of the barracks was the Private who was staring at him. Jim walked up to him and the Private said, “Remember me?” Jim said, “Yes.” The Private then said, “I believe,” meaning he had come back to Christ. Tears welled up in their eyes. A Soldier who had gone astray had come home to the faith of his mother. These are the kinds of life-changing events Jim has witnessed as a military chaplain which has increased his faith.

Verna and Jim Linzey on the movie set of “Iniquity” in 2010 (Photo: Jeff Anderson)

Jim Linzey recently played the role of a military chaplain in a movie called “Iniquity,” about the life of David and Bathsheba. As a military chaplain, he defends in court a former Soldier, named Collin, who is being sued for negligence as an engineer. A building he had constructed collapsed and killed a little girl. His attorney named David offers to defend him, but fouls up the defense to put Collin in prison and out of the way so he could pursue a relationship with Collin’s wife, Beth, whom he impregnated earlier in the movie. Unfortunately, just like Uriah in the Bible, Collin loses. Verna Linzey, Jim’s mother, plays the role of the lead juror who delivers the guilty verdict over Collin. The movie is produced by the Hollis Media Group and is slated to be released this Spring.

From making death notifications to the next of kin of Soldiers to counseling Soldiers dealing with killing the “enemy” or killing civilians in foreign countries, difficult situations abound in the military which chaplains such as Jim have faced. But in the midst of the horrors of war to losing your own loved ones, Jim preaches a message of hope and salvation through Christ alone. Having seen lives turn around through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Jim knows that everyone can have a brighter future and have hope in this life time if they would simply trust the risen Savior, Jesus Christ.

It is no surprise that Jim is listed in “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in the World,” “International Centre of Biography,” and “2000 Intellectuals of the 21st Century.”

And this “Christian Soldier” continues onwards and upwards today with his spiritual battle for the souls and minds and of people all over the world.

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