M. James Sawyer, Th.M., Ph.D.
While in High School Jim developed an interest in missions and several times was involved in mission trips to Mexico. During college he majored in Biblical Studies, planning to go overseas. As a Senior he met Kay Fuqua, a missionary kid. Her parents were with Wycliffe Bible Translators and she had herself been born in the Amazon Jungle. They spent the following summer in Yarinacocha, Peru working in in the Amazon jungle. They were married in December of 1973 and six months later moved to Dallas, TX where Jim pursued a degree in New Testament intent on working overseas with Wycliffe. Over the course of his studies, his emphasis shifted to the areas of theology and church history. Still with a view to overseas ministry, but now in teaching rather than Bible translation. He got his Ph.D. in Historical Theology, but along the way the family kept growing. By the time he and Kay left Dallas in 1984 they had four hungry young sons and he was 33. While still vitally interested in missions, the reality was, if they were to go overseas, they would have to spend two years raising support and another two to four years in language study in order to be fluent enough to teach on the fields that they were interested in. At that time he would be nearly 40—a little late to get into one’s life career.
God instead directed him into teaching in the US. First for five years in San Francisco at Simpson College and then for the next eighteen at Western Seminary’s Northern California campus near San Jose. But the desire for missions was always present under the surface. In 2005, he was invited to teach a two week intensive class at the Theological College in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. That experience brought the possibility of missions to the forefront of his consciousness again, and he was ready for a new challenge.
Now, with their sons all on their own and married, he and Kay believed that the time for a change had come. Stepping out in faith, he left Western Seminary after 18 years and founded Sacred Saga ministries as a vehicle for bringing highly skilled and experienced biblical and theological scholars to areas of the world where the church is growing rapidly but has not been able to build an adequate support structure to train the new leadership.