City Vision Testimonials

The following are testimonials resulting from our years in Ohio when God blessed us to come alongside others interested in developing Christian Community Development ministries. We are thankful that God has used these wonderful servants to make a difference in communities of need!


Andy Batten, Director
Lighouse, Inc., Cleveland 

“Wow, we have come a long way these past few years and City Vision was a big part of getting started.  Jim saw the potential in us when others did not have the time.  City Vision helped us ask the tough questions that answered who we were, and what is it that we wanted to do, with that clarity we were able to focus on who we wanted to be and how we wanted to behave.  This was a key for us making the right first moves and everything else that has followed has been much better because we started out right.”


Kim Emch ~ Executive Director
SON Ministries, Hilliard

“City Vision has been integral in my personal growth in urban ministry.  The Community Partner meetings have opened my eyes and introduced me to other servants around our city who love the poor.  Through these relationships I’ve grown in my faith and expanded the resources I can offer those I serve.  The City Vision CCD classes are terrific!  I’ve attended and sent a dozen of the volunteers I work with to them – we have all learned so much practical and faith building information about serving the poor. When I began a non-profit ministry, Jim served me in a leadership capacity, as an apostle and coach.  His wisdom, guidance and experience along with his love for the Lord, have made a profound impact on me personally and has helped the ministry I serve move forward.”

Aaron Starr ~ Director
Reaching the Nations International, Columbus

“Over the years, Jim and KJ have added value to the ministry of RTNI in several ways.  In the early years they were instrumental in connecting us to a larger network of like-minded people and ministries (both locally and nationally) so that we did not feel like we were doing urban ministry alone.  They continue to provide resources to us  - and other urban ministries – in the way of volunteer connections and training opportunities.  They are a source of encouragement when ministry is hard and are willing to be a sounding board for new ideas.  It is nice to be able to go to people with so much rounded urban ministry experience!”

Ben Douglass – Associate Pastor
Faith Community Alliance Church, Columbus

We (Faith Community Church) are very thankful for the trainings that City Vision coordinates which help us develop our neighborhood based leaders and give them a vision for where we can go together in the future. We are thankful for the hard and thankless work that Jim and KJ put in behind the scenes.

Chris Zeidner, Community Development Director
Linden Life, Columbus

I have been involved in various capacities in inner city ministry since the late 1980′s. !4 years ago I was involved in helping to launch C.R.A.C.K. House Ministries (CHM) which serves recovering alcoholics. In 2008 I left full time secular employment to serve as Operations Director and then Executive Director of CHM.  In seeking to improve the outcomes and expand the impact of CHM, City Vision was an invaluable resource to me through the connections I made, the experiences of other ministries I could directly benefit from and from Jim and KJ’s wisdom and insights that they freely shared with me and with my fellow workers.

Five months ago my home church, whose leadership team I am part of, felt called to merge with another, mostly African American church and relaunch in the heart of Linden Life Fellowship with an emphasis on outreach to kids and on helping stimulate job skills and creation. Jim and KJ have been such an encouragement and font of practical wisdom to our leadership team. They spent a morning with us sharing what they have learned and greatly encouraging us to follow God’s calling. They have provided us with contacts like Rich Johnson to further gain insights on doing church multi-ethnically and challenged us with reading material like Toxic Charity. I am looking forward to supporting them in the regional CCDA conference they are planning and then having our staff and volunteers benefit from it.

City Vision’s mission and impact are a great resource for those of us seeking to serve our city.

Brian Stone ~ Director
Cross Town Kids, Columbus

“The coaching provided by Jim and KJ was exceptional! What a valuable resource they are to those who are seeking to  impact their city for Christ. Our consultation with Jim and KJ yielded practical resources, experienced insight and spiritual encouragement. I would highly recommend tapping into their real world know-how, expertise and passion for reaching urban America. ”

Allison Rooney ~ Director of Programs
SON Ministries, Hilliard

“City Vision is such a valuable resource to Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries as a faith-based Christian non profit and ministry.   Through City Vision partner meetings I have been inspired and fed by the opportunity to share what God is doing throughout Columbus to mobilize the Body of Christ as we love, walk beside and empower the poor in our midst.   KJ and Jim Swearingen’s leadership, vast experience and love for the Lord are foundational for us as a young non profit called to do God’s work with the poor in our suburban community.   Praise God – I have learned so much and SON Ministries has prospered greatly through our partnership with City Vision.”