Born in Elyria, Ohio, the third generation of Church of God parents on both sides, Tom felt his call to missions at the age of 16 when he received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. He obtained a B.S. degree from Lee University and his M.Div from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, as well as his Ph.D from Regent University. Tom became a teacher at the European Bible Seminary in Germany where he felt confirmation he was to serve the Lord in that country. He met and married Claudia, a native of Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, who was a dental hygienist and later attended ETS.
In 2003, Tom became the education director for Eastern Europe where he was responsible for the development, implementation, and administration of ministerial and leadership training materials and distance learning centers, which took him to Austria, Latvia, Belarus, Armenia, Ukraine, Russia, the CIS, and other former Eastern Bloc countries. Serving as education director/president of EBS in 2006 and education director/president of C.E. Europe/Moscow Seminary/Bulgaria College in 2008, he assumed his present position in 2010.
Looking back, Tom says he was amazed at how the Lord helped him with the culture and language, even preaching in German. He further stated: “My vision was to see that every country in which the COG is represented had a viable, reliable program for training the next generation of pastors and leaders. While still a challenge in many ways, we are making great strides.”