Dear Church Family,
It is hard to imagine, but already 13 years have passed since Jackie and I joined the Nashville First Baptist Church family – October 2006. We moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, where I served nearly 16 years as Executive Pastor, most of the time with Dr. Charles Page (former pastor of Nashville First Baptist Church – what a small world). In fact, the exciting ways that God works are again noted by my first meeting Pastor Frank Lewis in 1996, when he came to preach for our church in Charlotte due to the illness of Dr. Page. Frank and I began a friendship lasting over 20 years of sharing ministry encouragement between our two downtown churches with very similar history, outreach, and setting only in two different cities of the Southeast.
I shared with our church family Sunday November 17, the intention we have of retiring and concluding my work with the church in December. You are gracious to provide our family’s retirement celebration December 8, and we cannot thank you enough. Our children plan to attend; we hope you will meet our precious family.
Jackie and I believe that the timing is right for this, the Lord has spoken clearly to us over the months we have prayerfully considered retirement. In fact, we are really just moving into the next phase of life, not retiring.
Forty-seven years ago, I volunteered to serve in the United States Army, with the Field Artillery division, in the Chaplain’s Office. I served three years in the Army Hospital Chaplain’s Office, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. During those years, we were active in First Baptist Church Lawton, Oklahoma, where we taught kids the Bible, sang in young adult ensemble, grew enormously, and I was ordained as a deacon. Even before these years, God blessed Jackie and me respectively with Christian homes and parents, and churches that helped raise us in faith to Jesus Christ – we give our lives to help others know Him, gladly.
Then, we began 40 years of church ministry; we served in four churches during these years. We loved each church, the Lord blessed us beyond measure. While in Nashville, our daughter, Carrie, met her future husband, Jonathan (son of Roger and Kay Thiele in our church). Our son, Philip, met his future wife, Jenna (whose parents are moving to Nashville soon). Both children are happily married, moved westward, are very active in their respective churches, in Aurora and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Carrie and Jonathan are parents to our grandson Jackson, a year-old November 30. Philip and Jenna are expecting our granddaughter March 5. We will have at least two grandchildren living in beautiful Colorado.
Several of you have inquired of our plans…we have worked very hard, for our years of ministry. We are most thankful for this calling and highest blessing ever. Since I was a kid, I’ve worked…mowing yards, delivering newspapers, doing sales for Sears, Roebuck & Co.; US Army; lumberyard, and marketing man during college/seminary. Then full-time church ministry.
Now, the priorities the Lord has given me are to serve effectively as:
1. Family Man – to my sweet Jackie, children, and grandchildren
2. Fisher Man – to get into more outdoors experiences, and help other men refresh through enjoying God’s beautiful world
3. Fisher of Men – to disciple men, law enforcement members & veterans, and; to point more men and women toward Jesus Christ through several opportunities.
And, to be attentive to the doors God is opening for us – to discern how HE is leading us in this new life chapter.
We care deeply for you, Pastor Frank and our staff, and our church. We will always be grateful for this privilege, serving as your Executive Pastor.
We believe the future of the church is bright and encourage you forward. Know that we keep you much in prayer.
God bless you,
Executive Pastor Tom Crow
Contact us at home address, email via email@example.com, or find me on a stream in Tennessee or out west.
Tom’s Retirement Reception:
Tom’s retirement reception will be Dec. 8 immediately following morning worship in the Chapel. Please stop by to give the family some love and encouragement. Light refreshments will be served.
Please send us a brief statement about what Tom and Jackie have meant to you and your family over the years. Email those to firstname.lastname@example.org before Nov. 24. These will be collected and presented to the Crows.