Jim Downing's Profile


Personal Information


In 1935, at 22, Jim made Christ his Lord under the influence of shipmates aboard the Battleship USS West Virginia. These men were being discipled by Dawson Trotman (Daws), with whom Jim soon became lifelong friends.

In 1936 Jim felt the Lord leading him to become a career Navy man and lay aside his plans to go to law school and enter politics. So Jim asked God to give him, for every year Jim served in the military, a man who would accomplish what Jim would have done if he had returned to civilian life. There is evidence to believe that prayer was answered.

Jim survived the sinking of the USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor, and was commander of the Navy ship USS Patapsco during the Korean war. After Daws drowned in 1956, Jim retired from the Navy to join the Navigator staff in Colorado Springs, CO. During the next 22 years Jim served the Navigators in many capacities, including deputy president and chairman of the board of directors. In 1978 Jim moved his family to London, where he served as director of the Navigator ministry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Now 97 years old, Jim continues discipling others from his home just outside the Navigator headquarters. He has also resumed a heavy travel and speaking schedule (about a third of his time) since the February 2010 death of Morena, his wife of 68 years.

Jim’s book Meditation has been printed in more than a dozen languages, and endorsed by Rick Warren:

The secret to being a wise person is to meditate on God’s Word daily, not just read it. Jim Downing taught me how to do this over 30 years ago when I was a teenager, and it radically shaped my life and ministry.

In Living Legacy, his tribute to Daws and Daws’ successor Lorne Sanny, Jim ascribes to Daws the conviction that “The world can only be populated spiritually the same way it was populated physically, with every Christian brought to maturity [to] reproduce themselves spiritually.”

As he works and studies to be a more effective disciplemaker, Jim’s life reflects this same conviction.

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