Bachelor in Religion, Seoul Theological College, Republic of Korea, 1964. Master of Divinity, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, 1970. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, 1996.
Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (honorary), Yeosu National University, 2003.
He has served in both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly and was the Oregon State Senate Majority Leader in 1995. He has unsuccessfully ran for the United States. Senate and for the Republican nomination for Governor of Oregon. As an adolescent, Lim suffered from tuberculosis for five years, from which he nearly died.
He emigrated to the United States in 1966, penniless.
When he first arrived in America, he had no resources and worked as a janitor. He later had plans to become a Catholic priest.
He continued his theological studies at Western Evangelical Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity in 1970. Lim was elected to the 11th district of the Oregon State Senate in 1992.
He served as Majority Leader in 1995 and was re-elected in 1996.
In April 1999, while serving as chairman of the Trade & Economic Development committee, Lim famously proposed installing signs at the state lines reading, "You are welcome to visit Oregon, but please don"t stay." The signs were intended to discourage visitors from moving to Oregon, to preserve the state"s economic and ecologic infrastructure as well as general "quality of life."
Lim was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate in 1998, losing to incumbent Democrat Ron Wyden. Oregon"s term limit law was still in effect at the conclusion of his second Senate term, so he left the Senate following the 1999 Legislative session. Lim was succeeded by fellow Republican John Minnis.
In 2004, Lim was elected State Representative of District 50.
He was re-elected to that office in 2006, serving in the 73rd Oregon Legislative Assembly and the 74th Oregon Legislative Assembly. John Lim lost his bid for re-election to the Oregon House in the 2008 general election.
Former police officer Greg Matthews, a Democrat, took over representation of Oregon"s 50th District in January 2009. Lim was a candidate for the Republican nomination for Oregon governor in 2010.
Member Royal Rosarians, 1986—1996, John Lim Scholarship Trust Fund, 1990, Commission on Public Safety, 1991. Volunteer Loaves and Fishes, since 1993. Member Mothers Against Drunk Driving, since 1993.
Board regents Western Evangelical Seminary, 1994—1996. Bush-Quayle Campaign chairman Korean-American Society Oregon, 1988. National president Korean-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry Fen., 1989—1990.
National chairman Asian American Voters Coalition, 1990—1991. Member Gresham Chamber of Commerce, 1991—1998, Portland Chamber of Commerce, 1997, National Oregon Parent-Teachers Association, 1998. State senate Oregon State Senate, 1991—2000.
State representative Oregon House of Representatives, 2005—2008. Charter member People for Parks Oregon, 2007. Candidate for Governor State of Oregon, 2010.
Executive committee member Billy Graham Crusade, 1992. Board trustees George Fox University, 1996—2007, Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens' Academy, 2000. Founding member Partners a Hunger-Free Oregon, 2007.
Married Grace Young-Hee Park, December 9, 1963. Children: Peter, Billy, Gloria.