Alumni Feature: Jean James ’79 Kingery – Asbury University
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Alumni Feature: Jean James ’79 Kingery

From Fashion Professor to Church Planter and Disability Advocate

April 11, 2024

Jean James ’79 Kingery has devoted her life to empowering and uplifting individuals affected by disability. As a college professor, entrepreneur, corporate trainer, missionary, and international church planter, Jean reflects on her career and God’s faithfulness along the way.

“Asbury changed my life,” she said. “I came as a transfer student from Texas, and I knew that it was time to go wherever God wanted me to go. God gave me a love for missions here.”

After studying psychology at Asbury, Jean served for five years as Assistant Professor of Fashion Marketing and Merchandising at Northwood University in Texas. During that time, she created and sold a silk nail business to a large company.

“My mission field was my students,” she said. “I had the opportunity to lead a prayer group and Bible study on the secular campus, which was special.”

During a church service, Jean met an armchair agriculturalist named Chip who shared about his mission work in India to help lepers and impoverished people with growing leguminous trees for sustenance.

“I wanted to support him financially, so we communicated through letters for several months before he came back from India, and then we got married a year later,” she smiled.

Jean and Rev. Dr. Charles “Chip” Kingery went to India and had three children as they worked with nationals and marginalized communities including individuals and families affected by disabilities. In 1998, they started an international business with Amway, whose executives invited Jean and Chip to mentor professionals in India.

“We worked with those who were physically challenged in the morning and those who were financially challenged at night,” Jean said. “Through that process, we shared Jesus as we helped people, and God grew our network to 25,000 people.”

Jean and Chip founded proVISION ASIA “to inspire hope by providing an environment that fosters holistic transformation, encouraging the vision of abundant life through provision of mobility aids, physiotherapy, family counseling, important government advocacy and the Mithra Special School.”

Serving thousands in south India alongside a dedicated national team, the Kingerys also started Bangalore Christian International Fellowship Church over two decades ago which continues to thrive.

After 33 years of marriage and service, Chip passed away in 2018 after a brief battle with a rare aggressive kidney cancer.

“A month before he passed, Chip told me that he wanted me to write books and become a pastor,” Jean said. “Since then, through God’s help, I have written three books in The Crimson Thread Series and am working on two more. I also have become a certified and licensed pastor with the Western Region Missionary Church.”

Jean offers training to pastors in the Global Training Network as part of their justice mission to help pastors overcome barriers in their work.

She remains committed to disability ministry and inclusion, serving at Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Calif. as the Disability Engagement Coordinator. Jean serves on the Alumni Board at Asbury University and looks forward to their monthly Alumni Prayer Zoom meetings.

“We are all created in God’s image, and we all have a need to fill our hearts with the love of Jesus,” she said. “Last week, we baptized two adult women who shared these simple but profound words: ‘Jesus is in my heart. Is He in yours?’”

Learn more about Jean’s work through her bi-weekly blog here.