“That’s Just Jim”: In Remembrance of Jim Webb

Apr 24, 2023 | Alumni, The Journey

In Remembrance of Jim Webb 1942 – 2022

Dr. Jim Webb was never known as a front-and-center guy. In board meetings, President Kemper said he’d be the one to speak last, summarizing the discussion to provide helpful clarity.

“You always wanted to wait until he weighed in; he was steady and extremely wise,” President Kemper says. “That’s just Jim.”

A Life of Service

Born in Los Angeles, California, Jim grew up in the Midwest, where his father pastored, served on the Grace board, and founded Grace Youth Camp. That’s where he found Joyce. 

“We always said we never really met,” Joyce says, laughing. “We probably knew each other at camp around age 10 … He was a good husband.”

Jim and Joyce married at Berean Church in Grand Rapids in March of 1965—reaching almost 58 years of marriage before Jim’s death in November of 2022. 

Jim graduated from Rogers High School in Wyoming, Michigan before going on to Wheaton College in Illinois. He attended Wayne State University’s School of Medicine and completed a residency at Butterworth Hospital. Joyce earned a nursing degree from Blodgett Hospital School of Nursing. 

Oh, and he spent three years in Germany serving with the U.S. Army. 

In 1977, Jim joined a private practice in Fremont, Michigan, about 50 miles north of Grand Rapids. But his medical ministry stretched far beyond Michigan’s borders as he made countless trips to Africa and Haiti to work in mission hospitals. 

In addition to being an active member of the Grace Christian University board for over four decades, he served on the boards of Grace Ministries International, Bethesda Mission, and Anchor Point Bible Church. 

Though an accomplished musician—a singer and a saxophonist—Jim didn’t always have to be on stage. He’d often run the sound board, serving in the shadows with an innovative touch, a trained ear, and an eye toward ministry. 

“He was always looking for a music student,” President Kemper says. “He wanted students in ministry in the churches.” 

And whoever happened to be there, whether it was a Grace student, a colleague, or a friend, Jim made sure to take everyone out for lunch at Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille—the gold standard for Jim—after church. 

Jim was generous with his skills, his time, and even his hobbies. A Volvo enthusiast, Jim served as the president of the Great Lakes Chapter of the Volvo Clubs of America. And he’d even been known to give away cars when someone was in need. 

“I think he supplied almost everyone in our family—and most of his friends—with a used Volvo,” Jim Molenkamp says. 

But more than the Volvos, more than the music, more than the medicine, and even more than the missions, Jim was known by his love for Jesus. It was evident everyday by his joy and passion for helping others. And still it lives on in those impacted by his great love for Jesus.

That’s just Jim. 


Emily Gehman is a Grace faculty member and managing editor of The Journey.
Photo courtesy of Joyce Webb

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