Since 1961, the Bible teaching ministry of Tom Hill has featured clear, plain, and relevant Bible teaching. This worldwide ministry calls unbelievers to saving faith in Jesus Christ and cries out to Christ-followers the need for spiritual revival.
If you have read many of my messages, you know a little about me. But today, I must go outside the box and tell you all about Tom Hill. I will go out on a limb and give you a deeper sense of me. Maybe you will not like the me that I reveal and want no more. But, maybe, you will want to read more and even tell others to read more, too.
I grew up in a pastor’s home. My father, a contractor by trade, responded to a nudge from his pastor, Dr. Malcolm Cronk, and started a church in Graham’s Corners, Michigan, near Laingsburg, Michigan. The church now thrives at the same location.
He pastored two additional churches: Harris Avenue Baptist Church (now Calvary Baptist Church), Charlotte, Michigan; and Immanuel Baptist Church (now Immanuel Bible Church), Saginaw, Michigan.
As a PK, I enjoyed frequent in-home visits from foreign missionaries. I soon sensed an interest in becoming a missionary. As I entered my teen years, this interest grew as did three others, sports, medicine, and revival.
Of these four interests, sports died the quickest death. I sustained several injuries in high school that impeded my high school career. Although I played football and basketball during my freshman year at Wheaton College, they no longer brought the joy of my younger days. The other three remained.
After my freshman year at Wheaton, I transferred to Wayne State University, in hopes of entering their medical school. During that summer, a pastor friend of my father, Rev. William Walker, invited my father to fill the void of a cancelled speaker at the camp that Rev. Walker directed.
With great reluctance, I joined my parents for this week. They wanted me to meet that Walker girl, Diane. At the time, I had no interest in meeting any girls. Yup, you guessed it. I fell instantly in love with her at first sight. Her father arranged for me to rent an apartment in his mother’s house across from the church that he pastored in Southgate, Michigan.
Yes, I believe in arranged marriages. Diane answered every criteria (20 in all) for a wife that I had developed over the years, even the willingness to become a missionary if God so called.
As we dated, my interest in medicine waned. Now, two remained, missions and revival. After we married, we applied for missionary service with Trans World Radio. Rev. Burt Reed counseled us as we progressed in our application. The time came to respond to the invitation for final interviews at the home office.
However, Diane and I felt uneasy about the situation. I called TRW’s home office and spoke with the person who had written us regarding our visit. I explained our uneasiness. He asked the place where Burt had initially assigned us. When I told him, he laughed. Then he explained that only two days previously the directors of the mission cancelled those plans. Not even Burt Reed knew of the cancellation.
Now only one interest remained, and I needed a job. I quit my previous job in anticipation of the mission opportunity. Not five minutes after my phone call with TRW home office, I received a phone call from a friend, John Shev, who needed a salesman in Lansing, Michigan, where Diane and I lived at the time.
I never thought of business as a work option. But, I quickly responded to John’s desire for a Christian salesman in Lansing. I started that afternoon. God blessed me in those years, quickly climbing the corporate ladder from naïve salesman to Regional Manager over 11 states and 40 salesmen within 3 years.
My record as a salesman and manager fell below the number one corporate rank only one time during those years…second place for one quarter. The job required heavy travel…gone from home 50 weeks a year.
I called Diane every night to speak with her and received an update on our two daughters. During one of those nights, at a Holiday Inn in Ft Wayne, Indiana, She told of the new tricks our youngsters performed that day. My heart broke within me. God spoke clearly: “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
I did not need salvation that night. God by His Spirit gave me that new birth from above as a child. However, I had traded my family upon the altar of business success. I decided that night to leave my corporate job, go home, and work at home. I have never regretted it.
I became an overnight entrepreneur. I started a business in real estate that quickly morphed into investments. I owned an investment brokerage company, licensed in several states. I met a friend during noon time basketball games at Michigan State University. He taught accounting and asked me to join him in presenting investment seminars.
During the next several years, we gave 20 seminars a year on tax sheltered investments (our specialty) all over the country, even Hawail, to accountants, attorneys, and the occasional IRS agent.
During these years, the business grew to include a nationwide cadre of high income investors. Everything that I touched turned to gold. I had the world by the tail on a down hill haul. Or so I thought. Over 20 years of continuous success came to a screeching halt.
God had other plans for me. God completely closed every business interest that I managed. In the end, I lost every financial gain that I had acquired during those years. Every attempt at new businesses met disaster. In a short period, God completely closed all of my business activities.
Remember that one remaining interest, revival? It sounds silly when I say it, but it never left me. It began with a series of Saturday night prayer meetings that my father started during my high school years in Saginaw, Michigan. I joined a group that gathered every Saturday night to pray for revival in the church and Saginaw.
Although we never saw revival there, that desire never left me. I thought of it frequently and prayed for it from those high school years to the present day.
Sensing a change in life, I applied to seminary for additional training, but did not know how I would pay for it. I had no money and no assets. But God in his grace and mercy provided every dollar needed through completion of studies at Luther Rice Seminary.
Now what? I felt all dressed up and nowhere to go. I applied to churches and organizations nationwide with no results. At the end of these attempts, I called the local Christian radio and television stations to see if they would start me for nothing.
Bold? Yes. Gutsy? Yes. As you predicted, no one took my offer. Discouraged, I wondered what God had in mind. Within a week, Delores Burley, the woman who directed the Christian television station, called and offered a weekly 30 minute spot, free.
She later told me that God would not let her sleep until she agreed to give me the time. She cancelled another paying spot to give me the free time. From the humbling experience, the number of tv stations that carried my program, “Power for Life,” grew at one time to a total of 10 stations.
God supernaturally provided the funds necessary for studio time, air time, and free offers. Then one day, the money quit coming…totally…nada…nothing. I quickly cancelled the remaining TV schedule.
Once again, the interest for revival, the theme of the tv program, steadily grew within me. I had no idea what to do. Then I received a letter in the mail announcing a new medium, the internet. What? The internet?
I did not have the faintest clue about that form of communication. But I jumped in with both feet. I uploaded to my website the videos and audios that I had used with my tv program. Inexplicably, people began to watch and listen…from every continent in the world. I could not believe it.
One day, while examining my site for potential expansion, I noticed a place for a blog. A blog? Again, I did not know anything about them. I searched my files and found some articles that I had written for a newsletter I published many years ago.
I posted them on my site. I watched in amazement as response grew from nothing into thousands of page views, now into the millions. Who said that God does not have a sense of humor?
Which brings me to now. The passion for revival has increased to consume me. As I scan the landscape of the professing church and its leadership, I weep for sorrow. Overcome by pragmatism, the new “in thing” for church growth, the Holy Spirit has continued to withdraw from the professing church.
A former mentor (other than my father), Dr. Ainsley Barnwell, warned me long ago that God had written Ichabod over the doors of the church. We now see a well-oiled machine, not with the oil of the Holy Spirit, but with the best that human gumption can provide.
I watch with sadness bordering upon horror as the church declines and its leadership believes the mantra popular in my youth: “Doctrine doesn’t matter.” Anything goes now even heresy. We now have an anesthetic message of modern intellectualism that conforms to the culture and entertains the masses.
I decided recently that I have had enough. I can no longer be “mister nice guy.” Perhaps you have noticed a trend lately in my blogs, and public teaching and preaching. Hinting no longer works.
I pray not to become belligerent or mean spirited. However, I will call out heresy where it exists and name names of those who proclaim error. The Lord Jesus predicted this day would come when false prophets would appear as sheep. Sadly, we have many of them today.
My passion? The one remaining from my youth…the spiritual revival of the professing Christian church…worldwide. A few pockets of spiritual vibrancy exist. But the vast majority stumbles in lifelessness.
Someone described the church as a mile wide but an inch deep. I see it as neither a mile wide nor an inch deep. The church desperately needs revival. The explosion of error and false prophets contributes to this need.
I recognize that this approach may offend you. I pray not. But if it does, cancel. I will remove your email address from my list. Some have already cancelled. Others may follow.
However, if this message strikes a cord with you, let me know. I would appreciate the encouragement. If you know others of like mind, send them a link to this email and my web site.
I will lovingly, prayerfully, yet straightforwardly proclaim the truth without hesitation, speaking the truth in love. I will continue to proclaim the truth to whatever audience God provides. Times have gotten desperate. If you do not see it, ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see it. Join me in fervent prayer for the revival of the church of Jesus Christ…nothing less will suffice.
We pray that the Holy Spirit will use Tom’s unique, straightforward preaching to encourage, edify, and enable you to apply God’s word in your life and to revive you and the Church of Jesus Christ.
Tom has preached in a variety of church gatherings. Contact him to preach at your church or conference. He welcomes the opportunity to proclaim God’s word.