For the past three decades, everything in Jim Pinkard's life has been based in Adairsville.
He's lived there, retired from the post office there, opened a diner there, pastors a church there and works at the funeral home there.
"I love my little town," said Pinkard, pastor at NorthPointe Church and owner of Pinkard's Diner. "When I arrived here at the end of my rope in 1988, I met Jesus Christ and a town full of folks that loved me. I owe a lot to this little town. It's my home, and I want to do what I can for it."
He said he posts a lot of stories about Adairsville on his Facebook page, Pinkard's.
"Y'all can like that page, if you like and would like to hear about my little town," he said. "I like being one of the characters here in Adairsville."
Name: Jim Pinkard
Occupational title: Retired from the U.S. Postal Service, I am employed with Barton Funeral Home and own Pinkard's Diner.
City of residence: I live in Adairsville.
Daily Tribune News (DTN): When did you become the pastor at NorthPointe Church, and why did you want or feel called to that position?
JP: I became pastor of NorthPointe Church in October of 1998. My family and two other families started the church in our garage and David Holcombe's living room. Not sure at the time that I wanted to or [was] even called to pastor our church. The only thing I knew for sure was that when I met Jesus Christ, my life changed for the better, and I had some good news to tell — not just good news, but the best news. I knew that my purpose as a disciple of Jesus Christ was to go out and make other disciples. I like to teach, and I have learned to love people, and my wife and closest friends confirmed to me that I should be the pastor, so 20 years later, here I am, and I have just committed another 20 years to the church back in January.
DTN: What do you enjoy most about being a pastor and why, and what do you like least about it and why?
JP: The thing I enjoy most about being a pastor is seeing people's lives change after they start applying God's Word, the Bible, to their everyday living, ordinary, walking-around life. I get to see restoration and peace. Sometimes as a pastor, I see folks hurting, sometimes from their own decisions and sometimes from decisions of others, and it makes me sad and sometimes a little angry.
DTN: How long have you owned your diner, and why did you want to get into the restaurant business?
JP: I started my restaurant in August of 2017. It's called Pinkard's Diner. My wife told her friend one day that with me, it's more about the people than the food, and she's right as usual. I love the people. All kinds of people come to our diner and sit around the penny counter. There's no TV or Wi-Fi, so we talk to each other and become friends and connect with each other.
DTN: What do you enjoy most about owning a diner, and what do you not like so much about it?
JP: There's lots of ribbing and laughter going on while Nick and Soon are whipping up a great meal for you. James is always there with a cake and a smile. My goal is for you to feel better when you leave than when you came in. I don't like it when that doesn't happen. It's all about the relationships that are being formed. So far, there isn't anything I don't like about owning a diner. I learn something new every day.
DTN: You also work part time at Barton Funeral Home and formerly worked at the Adairsville Post Office — how did you become a jack of all trades?
JP: I worked next-door at the post office for 27 years before retiring in January 2013. I immediately went to work for Barton's Funeral Home. That, I believe, is my calling, if you could call it that. Dud Barton is one of my best friends; he's the funeral director. My daughter, Sunny, was born in 1995 and died shortly after birth as I held her. It was the most painful day of my life. Dud drove all the way from Adairsville to Northside Hospital in snow and ice to pick up my little girl. I couldn't have handed her over to just anyone. It had to be someone I trusted. In all this pain, there was a little peace I experienced as I watched Dud handle her with care and then drive off. So from then on, I knew that I wanted to help Dud at the funeral home one day when I retired, to help others like he helped me. I have tried to be a good man and someone that the folks in my community can trust when they have to face those painful times of losing a loved one.
DTN: How would you describe yourself in three words?
JP: I asked my family via text to describe me in three words, and my daughter and wife said I was gregarious, reliable and passionate, so I will go with that.
DTN: What would the title of your autobiography be and why?
JP: I've always said if I wrote an autobiography that it would be titled "Never Sick on Sunday." The reason is that in the 20 years of pastoring NorthPointe Church, there has never been a Sunday that I have been too sick to teach the lesson. Maybe that's why Sara said I was reliable. I like to think I am committed.
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
JP: I'm still scared to death of speaking each and every Sunday. I think that surprises a lot of folks, but it's true. I sometimes get plumb sick at my stomach before I go up and speak.
DTN: If you could visit any period or event in the past, what would you choose and why?
JP: I really don't think there is a time that I would like to go back to. I really enjoy living in the here and now.
DTN: Do you have a bucket list, and if so, what is the one thing you most look forward to accomplishing?
JP: I think I would like to write a book one day, maybe a fictional book but use some of the folks here in Adairsville as characters. I've already got a few in mind.
DTN: If you could have one superpower, what would it be, and why would you want it?
JP: I don't want to sound like a preacher, but I already have a superpower in me, and he's the Holy Spirit that dwells inside of me and guides me, blesses me, empowers me and relieves me. And He spreads peace through me when I am obedient to the Spirit, and that is contagious to the folks around me. Not bragging — just the way the Spirit works.