“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:6-9)
On Christmas Eve, we heard the news that the Lord had called home His good and faithful servant, and my friend and mentor, Tom Minnery.
Much has already been shared by our President and CEO, Craig DeRoche, and our Board of Directors, as well our allies at Focus on the Family, Alliance Defending Freedom and Center for Christian Virtue – ministries to which Tom had significant ties – recounting his remarkable career and the significant investments he made in the Kingdom on behalf of families and religious freedom.
Much more can be said about Tom’s investment in Family Policy Alliance and Family Policy Foundation, especially leading this ministry, then-CitizenLink, to independence and setting the stage for our alliance-building, education and mobilization efforts to advance public policy that helps families thrive.
As our president emeritus, Tom’s last project and gift to this nation was the creation of the Statesmen Academy, a training program and life-long community designed to equip state legislators for godly, effective public service. Since its inception in 2016, it has trained more than 150 elected leaders from 33 states, and keeps growing each year.
The Statesmen Academy also served as a model for the School Board Academy, which launched earlier this month to train school board members for successful service that honors God, protects children, and preserves parents’ rights. This program has already trained 60 school board members from 22 states.
But as I have been reflecting – and also hearing from so many colleagues – what stands out to me is more personal, the example of servant leadership Tom set for those of us who were blessed to serve alongside him in advancing pro-life, pro-family public policy.
As someone who worked closely with men such as Billy Graham and Dr. Dobson, Tom was widely known and respected throughout the evangelical community and pro-family movement, and accomplished in his own right. A kind, thoughtful and humble man, Tom drew others to himself – and to the work he dedicated his life to – through his compassion for others, steadfastness to the Truth and wonderful, dry sense of humor.
But it was his ability to lead quietly by example and connect deeply on a personal level that I remember most across the 21 years I knew him.
Shortly after my own father’s passing a couple years ago, Tom gently shared with me that though my family and I would miss him through the rest of our lives, for my dad that time would go by in a blink – he would look over his shoulder and we’d all be reunited in eternity.
And so it will be for all those who knew and loved Tom, especially his dear wife Deb, his children and grandchildren, and those of us who were so fortunate to co-labor with him for a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.
Tom, thank you for your life well-lived in service to the Gospel and service of others. Thank you for inviting me and so many others into your life’s work, and helping others make their voices heard on behalf of life and God’s design for family. I will miss your friendship and wisdom, so very much.
And thank you, Lord, for the gift of Tom and the ways you gifted and enabled him to impact this nation and its policies, and the individual lives he touched, for righteousness.
With gratitude, love and respect,
Chief of Staff