Jim began his professional career in 1963 when he helped establish the exothermic products division of Gilliam Packaging Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, which was purchased by Combustion Engineering, Inc. in 1968. Jim worked at Combustion Engineering as the manager of production and product development until 1975.
In 1974 he put his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. A year later he left the corporate world and began his vocational ministry by serving as administrative pastor of Woodlyn Baptist Church in Chester, Pennsylvania.
In 1980 he joined the Navigators and served as Ohio state director for that Christian organization. In 1995, he founded Sportworks Ministry, a Christian organization that ministered to student-athletes at North Carolina State University. He was appointed by Gov. Hunt as the official chaplain of the NC State athletic teams, and served as president of that organization. Jim's son Chuck Young now leads the Sportworks Ministry at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.