Growing up the middle son of Pastor’s Bani (Kalsinger) and Alice, Jim Bani experienced life in ministry his whole life. As pastors of the Presbyterian church in Vanuatu they were moved every 3-6 years to a new church in a different part of the 83 island nation. Jim was born on the island of Epi. When he was born Jim was so sick his body couldn’t provide any nutrients and he was so skinny you could poke a finger into his stomach and it be seen in his back.
During his adolescent years his parents were moved to the island of Efate. After 3 years in the village of Eton they were moved to the countries Capital, Port Villa. It was here that Jim learned to play the piano. He would spend every Sunday watching the pianist at church play in the morning. When his parents realized that Jim was passionate about wanting to play they would allow him to practice in the church before and after school. Eventually Jim was asked to play the piano on Sunday mornings. This also gave him the opportunity to travel with an evangelist for a few months around several of the different islands of Vanuatu.
Jim’s uncle told him about Rhema encouraging him to check it out. After returning from his mission trip, encouragement from his family and friends, Jim decided to move to Samoa in 2006 to attend 3 years of bible training. Jim lived in the dorms and made many friends with the boys who also lived there. During his first year Jim knew he was called to be on staff with Rhema.
After he graduated from his 3rd year, Jim returned home and began overseeing the youth for a small village church. However, he knew his time in Samoa wasn’t finished and so in 2010 he returned to school as a 4th year intern.
His intern position had him working in the workshop using his carpentry skills he learned during his school years. Jim also became one of the drivers, running errands and doing shopping for the school. It was in this position that Jim learned Samoan and soon became fluent in the language. Halfway thru his internship Jim began playing piano with the praise and worship team. Under the leadership of Pastor Junior Sinclair, Jim soon increased his piano playing abilities.
After completing his 4th year, Jim stayed on staff. This position gave him many opportunities to use his training and skills, including teaching in prayer school, traveling on mission trips, playing piano and building many pieces of furniture for the school and church.
In 2015, Jim and Samantha were asked to assist Uttermost Ministries with the starting of a outpost of Rhema South Pacific in Jim's home country of Vanuatu. With this new opportunity, Jim and Samantha along with their son Elijah relocated to Port Vila and are the campus coordinators as well as full-time instructors for the 2 year school. In addition they have helped plan mission trips for Uttermost Witness.
~ Licensed with RMAISP
~ Speaks Samoa, Bislama (Vanuatu language), French and English