Tom Jackson Elder
Year I joined HighRidge Staff:
Mikel (wife, married September 8, 1979); Jonathan & Marissa (daughter), Francesca and Gabriella (granddaughters); Drew (son) and Heather, Hadley, Titus & Katelyn (grandchildren); Evan (son) & Nicola, Remington (grandson)
Received Jesus as my Lord and Savior in 1961 (age 11) in Children’s Church at the Country Church of Monterey Park; was water baptized and Spirit baptized two years later on Easter Sunday, April 14; was called to be a pastor at Sa Ha Le Youth Camp in Big Bear, California in June of that same year!
Attended California State University, Fresno
Previous Line of Work:
Worked as a youth pastor, worked for Southern California Edison Company in the prefab department
Best Thing Someone Said to Me:
An emergency room doctor I led to the Lord in California said: “Thank you for showing me this wonderful life with Christ!”
“God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it … by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20
Two People I'd Like to Meet:
JDr. Luke (the writer of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts); and my Brother (who would have been a couple of years younger than me and who was miscarried)
My wife who has been my cheerleader, through thick and thin, even before we were married!
One of My Greatest Experiences with God:
Is the time that God showed me His will for me with regard to global missions. One day in prayer, the Lord showed a vision (picture prophecy) of a map of the world lying on a table. As I looked at the map, the far end began to rise, as if suspended in air. Then I saw a bright light shining on Visalia, our home town in California. That light traveled across the United States and the Atlantic Ocean, finally resting in Northern England (the Manchester area). The Lord whispered to my heart, ”Someday you will go there for me!” Then the light began to move again, traveling through England, France, and Spain, entering Morocco, Africa, and continuing down the west coast, finally resting in South Africa. The Lord again said ”Someday you will go there for me.” Within two years, through a series of miraculous contacts, we took a musical team of 35 and ministered for Jesus in Northern England and Apartheid South Africa. Since that immersion into missions, God has enabled my wife and I to minister in Denmark, Germany, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Romania, Spain, and Sweden.
Most People Don’t Know This About Me:
The jaw-dropping grace of the Lord has been on my family for a long time. My paternal grandfather accepted the Lord in his 30’s after emigrating from Scotland and his brother, an accomplished opera singer during the Depression, found Christ and became an evangelist for the Assemblies of God. My great-grandfather on my mother’s side was a Southern Baptist pastor who founded many churches in Missouri. My great-aunt was dramatically healed of heart disease and worked with the founder of the Foursquare denomination as the children’s pastor for over 30 years. I received the call to ministry at age 13 and my son Drew was awakened in the middle of the night and received the call to ministry about the same age. How I thank Him for His grace!
One of the Things I Find Most Fascinating:
How God allows us to experience very challenging situations. We later find out that the main reason we went through them was so we could help other people find hope and blessing!