Pastor Tom Tomforde was born in Lake City, Minnesota (the birth place of water skiing), on a cold December day. No, his parents did not name their baby boy Thomas, but Ralph. While that is still the name they prefer, he has been Tom to friends and family since high school.
After graduation, Tom joined the Air Force, where he learned electronics and worked on avionics equipment. The Air Force sent him first to Bitburg, Germany, and then to Luke Air Force Base, outside of Phoenix. Tom preferred the heat, and decided to make Arizona his home.
Tom landed a job working in Tempe on microwave (that means very small) oscillators. He spent his workdays peering into a microscope testing, tuning and troubleshooting these high frequency units. It was here that Tom met Rosie, and six months later they were married.
Tom and Rosie had their first child, Zachariah, that first year. Their life together seemed to be heading down a conventional path. When Zachariah was only ten weeks old, Rosie was laid off. That old saying that, “God never closes a door without opening a window,” proved true. While looking through the want ads for his wife, Tom found an ad for electronics workers in Saudi Arabia, working on the same kind of equipment that he had been responsible for in the Air Force.
Tom went to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in March of 1988, and Rosie and Zachariah followed shortly. Their daughter Emily was born a year and a half later. Saudi is a militantly Muslim country where Bibles, churches and Christian symbols are not allowed. Tom and Rosie had to figure out how to smuggle in a Bible for their personal use. One thing led to another, and they smuggled hundreds of Bibles into the country and then into the hands of others over the eight years that they were there. Tom also helped Christians of other nationalities establish churches and organize Bible studies.
When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwaitin August of 1990, Tom and Rosie noted that they were less than 200 kilometers south of the war zone. The news carried reports that the Iraqi guns were being turned on Saudi, with Dhahran being a likely first target in an invasion. Rosie was evacuated along with almost three-year-old Zachariah and seven-month-old Emily. They spent a year in the Phoenix area while Tom stayed behind, running into the parking lots to see the show whenever he heard a Patriot missile being shot. This era brought many more Bibles into Saudi than had ever been there before, most with the camouflage covers issued by the U.S. military. Many of these were left behind for a population that was hungry for the Word.
It was in Saudi Arabia that Tom first responded to the call on his life to minister the Word. It began with teaching Bible studies, but soon an entire church family was meeting in the Tomforde home. People from many countries and all walks of life found a church home here.
Tom and Rosie returned to the States in 1996. At first Tom landed a job working in electronics, but the call of the Lord was still on his life. In 1998, they moved back to Phoenix so that they could complete their education. Rosie graduated that December with a degree in accounting. She currently works for the state of Arizona. Tom graduated from Grand Canyon University with a degree in Biblical/Theological Studies.
Tom and Rosie found Christian Community Church shortly after they returned to Phoenix. Pastor Dale Ratzlaff was pleased to find a fellow laborer in Tom. Tom was put to work teaching Sunday school and other tasks. Whatever his hand found to do, he did it with all his might, and did his work heartily, as unto the Lord. When Pastor Dale was called elsewhere, Tom accepted the call to be the new pastor.
Pastor Tom is a licensed and ordained pastor with the Christian & Missionary Alliance. He has been serving as senior pastor of Christian Community Church since October 2000. He has preached the gospel on four continents, and distributed thousands of free tapes and Bibles worldwide. His passion is seeing people come into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and growing in their faith. Evangelism, worship, and discipleship are the heart of his ministry.
Pastor Tom and Rosie would like to extend the invitation for you to be part of what God is doing at Christian Community Church. This website has a variety of free teaching tools that can help you grow in your faith. We encourage you to use them freely and pass them along to others. Everyone is welcome to join us each Sunday for a celebration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.