Find out more about our Old First Church Pastor!
My Personal Mission Statement:
"I believe that God has called me to lead by teaching, preaching, and serving the people of God in ways that model Christ love for the church. I respect and celebrate the diversity and humanity of all people.”
Betty Jean Tom was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. Rev. Tom hails from a large, closeknit family of 8 living siblings and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
Rev. Tom professed a saving hope in Jesus Christ and was baptized at the age of 12 while growing up in the New Liberty Baptist Church. Rev. Tom grew up serving in the church in various capacities and believes that she was “born to serve God.”
The benchmarks of Rev. Tom’s ministry are her desire to: advocate for those whose voices have been muted, and to train and equip others for the work and mission of ministry. Rev. Tom has a love for prayer, praise, and worship and the study of God’s Word. The scripture that best informs Rev. Tom’s ministry is Colossians 3:17, “and whatever you do in word or deed do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Rev. Tom, formerly a teacher and school counselor in the Indianapolis Public School and Warren Township School districts for 22 years, holds a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL, (2013); a Masters of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN (2003); a Master of Science degree in Education from Butler University, Indianapolis, IN (1986); and a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University, Muncie, IN (1978). Rev. Tom served as Solo Pastor for the Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, IN for ten years before receiving the call to serve as the Pastor/Head of Staff of First Presbyterian Church, Mt. Vernon, NY in June 2011-January 2018.
Rev. Tom is a lifelong learner, social justice advocate and spiritual teacher and leader. She is an active member of the National Association of Presbyterian Clergy Women, serves on the Advisory Board for the Presbyterian Hunger Program, PCUSA. Rev. Tom is an active supporter of the Interfaith Workers Justice and Westchester Jewish Council. Rev. Tom is also the former Convener for the Education Committee, for the Interfaith Clergy for Social Action and a member of the United Black Clergy, Mt. Vernon, NY. In Hudson River Presbytery, Rev. Tom served on the Hudson River Presbytery’s Cross Cultural Network, and Emerging Ministries Teams. Rev. Tom is a philanthropist, an avid football and basketball fan; she enjoys reading, writing, good jazz music, collecting books on prayer, water aerobics and swimming.
Rev. Betty Tom is the wife of the Rev. Philip Tom, the newly appointed Executive Director of International Council for Community Churches. Together they are the proud parents of daughter Lena Tom of Chicago, IL, and 4 sons; Ronald, Jared and Aaron (Lynette) reside in Indianapolis, IN; and Nathan resides in Bladensburg, MD.