Monday, November 16, 2009

About Tom Hammond

This past Friday the 13th, a close and personal friend of mine, Rev. Tom Hammond, who was the chaplain for Forgotten Man Missions’s Newago branch, was killed in a car accident. Tom was a role-model to me in doing life and ministry. As a godly father to his children, all four of them are now grown and serving Christ with their vocations. Serving throughout his life as a youth pastor, a missionary, a pastor and now a prison chaplain, Tom was gifted as an evangelist, pastor/shepherd, and discipler, which all stemmed from his genuine love for people. Tom exhibited a lifestyle of grace that was contagious to everyone around him. When he was the pastor of Kent City Baptist, God used him to help change the church from its fundamentalistic (in the worst sense) and legalistic tendencies to a church where they joyously loved God and authentically loved others (which continues even to this day). As a result, this dying church that barely had a heart-beat quadrupled in size. Moreover, I used to love talking with him about ministry, especially urban and poverty issues because he genuinely cared about how the gospel should be applied in these social-economic contexts. He often gave me great advice and I will cherish these moments for the rest of my life.

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