30 Years of Service: James Ford

   Employee Awards 2022 | Posted on March 4, 2022

I am proud to have you on our team, Jim. Thank you for all your contributions to Adventist scholarship through the James White Library, the Center for Adventist Research, and the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians. Through quiet but persistent leadership you rescued Adventist materials from basements and garages, from past and present institutions, from Amazon and eBay; made sure they were cared for, catalogued and indexed, and made them accessible to laypersons and scholars in print and digitally around the world.

I appreciate your collegiality, knowledge, institutional memory and meticulous record keeping; and admire your sense of humor, when you show it, and your daily walk to and from work.

Both students and colleagues value your kindness in giving correction, advice and encouragement. Your dedication at the office and church models a strong commitment to the Adventist faith and the mission of Andrews University. Congratulations and thank you for 30 years of exceptional service to Andrews University and the global community of Seventh-day Adventists (Paulette McLean Johnson, Dean, James White Library).

Andrews University has been much blessed by the leadership and ministry of Jim Ford.  His competence and broad grasp of Adventist and related resources plus his readiness to help students, faculty, scholars, and authors are admirable.  He helped develop and organize the largest and original Adventist sources useful to authors and scholars.  The digitization project will ensure the continuity of making available these hard-to-find sources to the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide as well as to scholars from various denominations.  Jim is also active in serving in various capacities at Pioneer Memorial Church.  He participates in volunteer overseas mission work.  It has been privilege to work with Jim here at the James White Library (Philip Tan, Head of Patron Services, James White Library)

I worked for Mr. Ford for about 5 years. I was the collections associate at the Center for Adventist Research.  While there I was able to learn a great deal from him!

He was supportive of my desire to get further education in library science. He helped me learn about the archiving process and its management. I would not have been able to finish my degree without his encouragement and support.  I also learned the value of having a great tie collection.

Not only was Mr. Ford a great mentor, but he was also a great example in his walk with God. He practiced what he preached. He welcomed people into his home for Sabbath lunches and looked for ways to reach those in his community. He also traveled internationally to serve people across the globe. He was always looking for ways to reach out and share the love of God. Mr. Ford is an asset to the community and library. It is no surprise to me that he has served Andrews University for 30 years. He has a commitment to the church, students, and God. I wish to congratulate Mr. Ford in his many years of service! May God continue to bless him!  (Tamara Karr, Director, Architecture Resource Center).

Jim is very willing to listen… (Dr. Silas Marques, Head of Information Services)

Jim Ford has dedicated three decades of his life in service at Andrews University, first at the Adventist Heritage Room and later as associate director of the Center for Adventist Research. During these years, he has assisted numerous historians in their research on Seventh-day Adventist history and he is named in the acknowledgments of dozens of books. In the early 2000s, Jim Ford was instrumental in launching a program to digitize Adventist materials and with the assistance of Merlin Burt and David Trim this project developed into the Adventist Digital Library. He is a dedicated husband and father and eagerly awaits the time when he will become a grandpa. (Kevin Burton, Director, Center for Adventist Research).

I have served on many committees over the years with Jim, both at JWL & PMC. At all times and in all situations, Jim was and is an excellent and knowledgeable leader in any committee he was heading up. My favorite comment about Jim in JWL committees was that he was our in-house attorney. He was always deeply thoughtful, then thinking things through he spoke like an attorney keeping us all on track. He has a quiet dry humor, he is humble, courteous, kind, and spiritual (Kathleen Demsky, Professor Emeritus).

My first memories of Jim center around the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians conferences and Adventist History presentations.  I remember the excellent tours he gave of the Adventist special collections and archives at Andrews during ASDAL conferences. That was before the creation of the Center for Adventist Research (CAR). I learned a lot of Adventist history from Jim on those tours. To me, Jim has been and is inextricably linked to ASDAL’s Adventist Resources Working Committee (ARWC) and its successor, the Adventist Resources Section (ARS)

When I think of the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index (SDAPI), I think of Jim and his long association with the Index and his patient work with staff to ensure that indexing was completed, and the index was as up to date as possible each year. Continuing the connection with the SDAPI, Jim continues to give his service to ASDAL through the new Adventist Digital Library.

It has been a pleasure working with Jim throughout the past 30 years on the Adventist Resources Working Committee, various ASDAL committees and sections, and connecting face to face at various ASDAL Conferences. I look forward to continuing to work with him through the SDAPI Advisory Committee and the Adventist Digital Library.

Jim, congratulations on reaching the milestone of 30 years of service at Andrews University. (Carolyn Gaskell, Director of Libraries, Walla Walla University)

I would like to extend to Jim Ford my warmest congratulations on his 30 years of service at the Adventist Heritage Center and Center for Adventist Research at Andrews University. Working with him for more than 17 years was a rewarding experience. Jim is faithful, dedicated, hardworking, knowledgeable, and an exceptional manager. His knowledge of Adventist history combined with archival and library skills sets him apart with unique capabilities. His dedicated work on major projects like the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index, processing Adventist historical collections, guiding in the organization of the Adventist Digital Library have been foundational in helping researchers. Mr. Ford is also committed to the mission and message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. His careful work as a curator of Adventist historical resources has enabled many thousands of people to gain access to vital materials that have advanced knowledge and understanding about Ellen G. White and Adventist history. His mentorship of workers at CAR, particularly student workers, has brought real help and enrichment to so many. I wish Jim and Diane God’s richest blessings in the years to come. My wife Sarah and I are grateful to be able to call them friends (Merlin D. Burt, Director, Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.)