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A look inside the busy life of Tyrone Mayor Jim Kilmartin

For 32-year-old Tyrone Mayor Jim Kilmartin, the one thing he may not have is time.
A father to four beautiful children, Blaise, Alexis, A.J. and Triumph, and a loving husband to his wife, Jessica, the man who founded Joshua House has worked his way into not only politics, but into the business world as well – putting his devout faith in God into everything that he is a part of.
Kilmartin’s life is based on three priorities – first and foremost is God, followed by his family, then his work and ministry. When other things begin to proceed above any of his priorities, then that is when his life gets off balance.
Balance is an important concept for Kilmartin. He typically works 60 hours a week, which includes his work as mayor and director of Joshua House. As the elected mayor, he receives $2,000 a year, which hardly pays the bills, so he decided to venture into the business world a few years ago.
Kilmartin started his own business called Kingdom Solutions, LLC. It provides laborers, particularly freight handlers, for warehouses. Companies hire his business to unload their trucks when making drop-offs at a particularly assigned warehouse.
“We’re in other small things doing odd jobs where needed, but the main thing is freight handling,” said Kilmartin. “It’s a little niche that’s real interesting.”
Kilmartin doesn’t handle much freight, but mainly does the book work for the business. His Joshua House assistant, Nate Verilla, is also his manager at Kingdom Solutions.
Another thing Kilmartin does is he works for a company called Keystone Business Support, Inc. He is the manager of the State College based business owned by B. Perry Babb, who happens to be the pastor of Keystone Church where Kilmartin serves as elder and associate pastor.
Keystone Business Support, Inc is a business services company that serves central Pennsylvania and specializes in bookkeeping, web services, sales training, graphic design, image consulting, specialty painting, language services, information and technology, and property management and cleaning.
“I help oversee these specific avenues in Blair County,” stated Kilmartin. “The main thing we do is property management and cleaning. Right now I oversee about 15 different properties/businesses that we do commercial cleaning for.”
The business is expanding tremendously according to Kilmartin, and in the near future he will be manager of the company’s Huntingdon County work.
Through both Kingdom Solutions and Keystone Business Support, Kilmartin personally employs eleven people, and four of the employees work full-time.
What Kilmartin does on a weekly basis would be too much for anyone to handle, but he says it is all made possible “by God’s grace.”
“God gives me the time to do it,” added Kilmartin. “When everything’s going all at once, I try to have a balance – I have to set hours throughout the week where I’m dedicating 20 hours a week to this, 20 hours to that, and 20 hours to something else.”
Sometimes one aspect of his work life has to take precedence over another. Currently, the Joshua House HoopsFest next Saturday is taking up much of his time, but other times when borough council meetings or mayor meetings come up, that becomes a heavy presence in his life.
“The big thing really is providing that balance to give everything adequate time,” noted Kilmartin. “My life is extremely scheduled.”
One might assume that Kilmartin is your ordinary A Type personality who is excessively time-conscious and unable to relax, but he is actually the complete opposite. Everything that he does he attributes to his faith in God and what he called him to do in life.
“If Christians are representing God, their supposed to be the ‘salt and light,’ the ones setting the pace,” said Kilmartin. “I feel like that’s what my life is supposed to be, and set the pace.”
He continued, “I want to build up an inheritance for my kids, but then also my kids’ kids. That’s what it says in the Bible, how a righteous man provides inheritance for his children’s children, and that’s what I want to do.”
Tyrone’s mayor didn’t always have that vision and understanding. He believed he would be a pastor all of his life and make $30,000 a year, and not be successful in a financial sense. Just over the last few years he really grasped the vision of being successful in both ministry and business, and even combining the two.
“My mind state tells me that everybody’s supposed to be in full-time ministry,” said Kilmartin. “If that’s the case, then the majority of people aren’t always inside the church building – they’re inside the world.”
He added, “If I’m going to evangelize the world, you only have a select group who come into a church building, but everybody’s out in the world. How do you affect them? You work with them in the market and business place.”
Kilmartin compared his point to the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus grew in favor and stature with man and God. He was a carpenter the first 30 years of his life, so he was out in the business world among the people.
With Kilmartin’s dedicated faith in God and being involved in politics and business, there is always a constant pressure of whether or not it is appropriate for him to be who he is in the different aspects of his life. People have told him to keep his faith out of both, but for him, it’s simply unimaginable to do so.
“Business is business and government is government, so you go along those lines,” said Kilmartin. “But there’s no way you can take your beliefs out of who you are, your faiths and your beliefs drive you to what you do.”
The understanding of the separation of church and state is based on not being able to make people follow a certain religion or worship a certain way, it’s the freedom of religion. Kilmartin says the misconception of church and state is that a person can’t talk about God, but the whole idea is that a person can’t “make” people a certain way.
“At first it was a real struggle and a battle for me, but I can’t waiver in that,” said Kilmartin. “I’m not going to stand there from my mayor’s office and preach to the people and tell them they have to believe in this, that’s unconstitutional, it really is – and I understand that.”
He added, “I can preach from a pulpit, but again, I can’t tell them they have to do it – it’s all a matter of someone’s heart.”
It also works both ways for Kilmartin. In the beginning of his time as mayor he said he had a hard time disagreeing and arguing with people, because it would be in his mind that he had to be the “nice Christian guy.”
“Learning how to juggle all of it has definitely been a learning experience, but that’s what I have to do,” said Kilmartin. “The whole thing for me is that my faith is in all of it.”
As for Kilmartin’s busy life slowing down anytime soon, there’s not a chance. He wants to continue doing what he is doing because he wants to see Tyrone grow, just as much as his ministry and businesses. Being mayor is a community service, just as a council member, and anyone in that realm of work truly wants one thing – the betterment of Tyrone.
Kilmartin plans on running for mayor again in the next election, as well as continuing to pursue and build his business work and Joshua House. As long as the good people of Tyrone desire, he plans on remaining the mayor and accomplishing as much as possible.
His contentment is his drive to succeed.
“I love Tyrone,” said Kilmartin. “I’m passionate to see Tyrone thrive and not be an economically depressed area, not be an area that’s just okay – but an area that thrives.”