On October 20, 1962, Jim and Sandy Heemstra were joined in marriage. The young couple began their married life in Fort Lauderdale Florida, where Jim worked as a plumber and would come to serve as a ruling elder in the early years of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. A decade later, a business opportunity prompted their relocation to Tallahassee, Florida. The Heemstras joined with Calvin Cummings in the planting of Calvary OPC, where Jim continued to serve as an elder.
In 1987, when chronic back pain forced his early retirement from the plumbing business, Jim volunteered to serve as the Regional Home Missionary for the Presbytery of the South. Jim and Sandy literally hit the road, selling their home and purchasing a travel trailer. In the course of his RHM travels, the couple covered a vast area from Dallas to Virginia and from Kentucky to Key West. When he began his tenure the Presbytery of the South consisted of only seven churches. With Sandy at his side, Jim’s travels for a quarter century helped to plant 33 churches, many of them now in the Presbyteries of the Southwest and Southeast.
Now in retirement, the Heemstras are snow birds, spending winters worshiping and serving at the Providence OP church they helped to plant in Brandenton, Florida, and enjoying Michigan summers at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Ada.