An Iowa native, Tom came to Elgin near the time he began following Christ—the middle school years. Seeing the changes Jesus was making in the lives of his parents, he says, melted his own agnostic heart.
Tom holds a degree from Judson College, but an InterVarsity Bible study at Elgin Community College was even more life-changing, because that’s where he met Jill. Married in 1983, they have seven kids (three still at home) and five grandchildren.
Tom and Jill were founding members of our church. In 1995, he set aside a successful sales career when asked to pastor this congregation. Tom has a gift for preaching the Word and puts a high priority on prayer, worship, and the presence of God. His passion is to see the Church being the Church—not just on Sunday mornings, but every day, as a true, knit-together family with a heart for the lost, a heart for the poor, and a deep hunger for God’s presence. Tom’s heart beats for the oppressed and for seeing people set free from bondage to sin.
For the past 15 years he has served Vineyard Midwest North Region as an Area Pastor, coaching and encouraging eight other senior pastors. He also enjoys praying regularly with the leaders of other churches in the Elgin community.
In 2001, while Tom was praying for an acquaintance who had asked him to pray, the man slashed Tom’s throat. Miraculously, the knife missed the major blood vessels, but there was plenty of damage. As he was bleeding out, Tom had a unique encounter with Jesus that changed his perspective on life. He tells the story in this 2016 sermon and also in a booklet he wrote with his son Lane, titled “Who Holds the Knife.”
In his free time, Tom can often be found reading—favorite authors are Charles Spurgeon and Charles Price—or bike riding with Jill. He enjoys watching his kids play sports and spends as much time with family as he can manage.