Former veteran missionary/teacher in Indonesia, superintendent of the Far East/Oceania, regional superintendent of Asia/Pacific, and pastor of Bismarck Church of God in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Faith Temple in the Bahamas, Thomas (Tommy) James Sands passed away on February 10, 2018, in Cleveland, Tennessee, after a valiant battle with cancer.
Born in Rock Sound, Eleuthera, Bahamas, on October 29, 1942, the youngest of six children born to Church of God parents, Tommy was destined for the ministry, and graduated in 1970 from Northwest Bible College in Minot, North Dakota, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion and Missions, and attended the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in 1989.
Tommy was recognized in the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities in 1969; voted Mr. Northwest Bible College in 1970, and in 1976 was Northwest Bible College’s “Outstanding Alumnus.”
Before his graduation from Northwest BC, Tommy’s initial desire was to go to India and serve as a missionary/teacher. Fulfilling God’s plan for his life, in 1976, Tommy went to teach in Jakarta, Indonesia, as well as served for nine years as a World Missions Representative.
Along with his later supervisory responsibilities, Tommy would often travel through the Indonesian islands conducting evangelistic meetings. Many souls were saved, healed, and delivered. On the island of Bangka, a little four-year-old girl who had never spoken, after prayer and God’s touch, began to speak … saying “Jesus!” Tommy acknowledged they had witnessed the blessings of the Lord in every aspect of their lives and ministry.
Tommy is survived by his wife, Joyce C. (Malone) Sands; two children: daughter Dr. Deborah L. Cole, PhD and husband James C. Cole III; son James Ian Sands and wife Ana Sands; four grandchildren: Emily Elizabeth Cole; James Carl Cole IV; Jane and James Logan Sands.