Thomas D. Church, who celebrates his birthday today, married Julia Dillon on June 4, 1977. He graduated with a bachelor’s of arts from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, in 1974. Tom went on to receive his master of divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1978. He came into the Orthodox Presbyterian Church through the ministry of the Rev. Drs. Jack Miller and John Skilton. A licentiate of the Presbytery of the Midwest, Tom served as an intern at Green Bay OPC in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and assisted in the work in Gladstone, Michigan. Three years later on May 20, 1981, he was ordained by the Presbytery of the Northwest to serve as their regional home missionary. From 1981 to 1987 he served as organizing pastor of Hope Presbyterian Church in Yakima, Washington and sought to plant a church in Prosser. Tom and his congregation used door to door visitation and a puppet ministry to help reach the Yakima area for Christ.
Since 1987 Tom has served as pastor of Immanuel OPC in Bellmawr, New Jersey. During those thirty years, Tom’s love for growing Christ’s church and overcrowded worship services prompted his suggestion to plant a “Baby Immanuel” twenty miles away. Twenty-six of his congregation’s members became the core group at Baby Immanuel. In 2005 the group was established as Immanuel OPC in Medford, New Jersey.
With a love for both Home Missions and Foreign Missions, Tom has served on both of his presbytery’s home and foreign missions committees. He also has taken some of his children with him to Uganda, Suriname, Mexico, Brazil, and Japan, and currently serves as ministerial advisor of our San Juan, Puerto Rico congregation. Over the years, Julia homeschooled from prekindergarten through twelfth grade their seven children: Ezra, Ephraim, Asahel, Adriel, Aijalon, Keturah, and Simeon. Their children, each of whom now are involved with either OPC or PCA congregations, include a surgeon, nurse, lawyer, school teacher, seminarian, musician, and homemaker. They have 13 grandchildren bearing the names of Eve, Judah, Isaac, Ruth, Isaiah, Thaddeus, Jericho, Moses, Shadrach, Ruben, Tirzah, Havilah, and Eli.
Picture: Tom, Julia and Ezra Church.