The Story of Tom Larmore, Founding Pastor

 

When he got upset, Tom’s uncle Charles used to say, "I should have been a farmer!" He meant that he was frustrated or not very good at his job so maybe he would have been better as a farmer. Living in the Midwest, an agrarian vocation of some sort could have been Tom’s destiny, but God had other plans. He lived in one of Iowa's larger cities, Cedar Rapids, and was more of a city kid than a farm kid. And although his little family was surrounded by lots of 'God's country' as they call it, God had no part of their nice, but God-free, home.

When Tom’s dad, Don, came home one day claiming that he had trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at the post office where he worked, all “heck” broke loose in their happy secular home. Dad tried to share this good news and changed life with them all, but Tom and his mother, Joan, his brother, and sister considered Jesus more of a home-wrecker than the wonderful Savior their dad talked about. Tragedy struck soon after when a head-on car vs. truck collision killed Don, nearly killed Joan, and put his brother and sister in the hospital. By God’s grace, Tom was not on that trip. Over the next couple of years as Joan went through multiple surgeries as a result of her injuries, the kids were bounced around from nanny to nanny and relative to relative, living most of the time with very stern grandparents. When his mom recovered physically, they moved away to the farm country of southeast Iowa for a fresh start in New London and to be near their aunt and uncle.
It was in New London that Joan was introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior. By now Tom was a teenager-- feeling indestructible and angry at everybody and everything. He went on a sin-binge during his high school years that got him in trouble with the law in Iowa and the border states of Illinois and Missouri. Also, Joan married a nice Christian man (which made Tom madder) and both of them tried to lovingly reach him for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was not interested and fought even harder, getting into even more trouble until one horrible-wonderful winter night in late 1968 when Tom believed he was going to die. At first it seemed like just another gang fight, but this time he was on the losing end of a very bloody gang battle that left him unconscious, but spiritually awakened for the first time in his life. Seemingly confronted with dying, he was terrified of the possibility that he was slipping into a place that he didn't believe existed... hell!  In time he recovered physically from the severe beating but was haunted by that fear-of-dying experience and knowing he was destined for the flames of hellfire.

A few weeks later after the black eyes and facial bruises faded, Tom went to a small, country church where the people seemed to know the Bible and appeared confident about going to heaven after death. At Harmony Bible Church in Danville, Iowa, he found that God wanted to fix his broken life and soul. There, the Bible was taken seriously, believed, studied, and applied to daily life and in their praises, prayers, and testimonies in church. He heard in practical ways how it worked for them. Shortly thereafter as Tom attended a Sunday service and sat in the back pew, God used Pastor Ed Davis to make him understand that Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, gave Himself for him on the cross, paying for all his sins and offenses against the Holy God of the universe. Tom understood that he needed to not only believe that with his mind, but he needed to receive Jesus by opening his whole heart and life to Him... NOW!

On January 21st, 1969, in that little church in the corner of a farm field, Tom repented of his sin, prayed, and asked Jesus Christ to forgive him and come into his life. Since then, he grew up spiritually by learning all he could about the Bible, its Main Subject-- the Savior, Jesus; its Publisher-- the heavenly Father; and its Author-- the indwelling Holy Spirit. God also graciously blessed Tom with the spiritual gifts of teaching, leading, admonishing, and serving for His glory with the rest of his life.

Even during numerous lengthy hospitalizations in the last few months of his life, Tom continued to share his faith with hospital staff both here on Guam and in Los Angeles.  Tom said, “I wish the last person I was supposed to witness to would come in, so I could leave this place.”  He left that hospital hours later on January 9th, 2021 and went home to his Savior.
 
"Whenever I get discouraged or feel like giving up, I remember my uncle mumbling, "I should have been a farmer" and the Lord whispers in my heart, “that's what you are, a sheep-farmer for Me; My shepherd to care for and protect My flock until I come". I don't know when the Chief Shepherd will return and call His flock home or when my tenure will end, but I know life really began in a “flock”, in a church, in a pasture, in Iowa, where I met the Lamb of God and the Chief Shepherd wrapped up in one awesome Person, the Lord Jesus Christ."  --Pastor Tom Larmore

Pastor Tom and his wife (Joyce) were married almost 50 years.  God blessed them with a son (Nathan), and a daughter (Rachel) and five grandchildren (Katie, Noah, Jack, Levi and Mandy).

 

 

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