In 1999, Jim and Kathy Cantelon began WOW with a desire to awaken the church in Africa and North America to the growing threat of HIV and AIDS. This vision of a true Christian community, helping one another, came to Jim over 15 years ago as he visited Africa and saw a nation trembling on the precipice of the world’s greatest disaster. He had a dream of the sick being cared for by the healthy; of a Mother Teresa; of local African churches fighting the battle against the AIDS pandemic.
Initially known as Visionledd, the ministry began with conferences and training opportunities that cast the vision and imparted the biblical message of justice and righteousness to African pastors and church leaders. In 2015 Visionledd re-branded as Working for Orphans & Widows (WOW) to better reflect how the ministry’s nature has evolved. Today, WOW continues to equip African churches and partners with local champions to serve orphans and widows through WOW Community Sponsorship and other projects in healthcare, education and water and sanitation.
In his book “When God Stood Up – A Christian Response to AIDS in Africa” (John Wiley & Sons Publishing, 2007) Jim chronicles his experiences in Africa over several years, confronted by the devastation of HIV and AIDS.
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A gifted teacher and communicator, Jim was a popular host on Christian talk shows in Canada and the United States including CTS’s 100 Huntley Street, Eye to Eye, and Talk to Me, a daily talk-television show Jim produced and hosted for broadcast across 14 million American homes.
Jim was born in Olds, Alberta, in 1947 and grew up in Saskatchewan and Ontario. He graduated from Central Pentecostal College and entered the pastoral ministry in 1970. He pastored churches in Montreal (1970-1972), Sudbury (1972-1976), Newmarket (1976-1981) and Broadway Church in Vancouver (1997-2000). In 1981 Jim, his wife Kathy, and their three children, moved to Israel at the invitation of the Israeli government. There, he pioneered the “Jerusalem Christian Assembly”, now called “King of Kings”. It is the largest evangelical congregation in Israel. Jim’s radio credits include the top-rated open-line Christian program “Challenge” in Sudbury and later “Voice of Hope” radio in South Lebanon, operated by High Adventure Ministries in a high-pressure war zone during his time in Jerusalem.
Jim and Kathy have three married children, Todd, Jess, and Kate, and eleven grandchildren: Jordan, Sarah, Sammy, Zoe, Jonah, Benj’, Kobe, Kathryn, Simeon, Cameron and Theo.
You can purchase his popular book, Theology for Non-Theologians here!