Pastor Tom loves to hunt, shoot, fish for bass, camp, play guitar & keyboard, and especially loves to teach from the Bible. He is married to his lovely wife Gretchen and has 3 kids.
His mission is to help people progress from being curious about God to becoming fully devoted followers of Christ and to find a place to belong in the local church where they serve with God's fulfilling purpose for their lives.
Pastor Tom genuinely loves people and enjoys answering honest questions.
The pronunciation of "Ouweleen" is probably easier than it appears... "Oh-well-in"
In his music playlists: I'm always trolling for the newest worship music. This is a great time for wonderful new worship music that glorifies God.
Pastor Tom came to Christ at a very young age and pursued a relationship with God throughout his teens and felt the call to ministry at the early age of 17. At age 19 he began to pastor a youth group as a volunteer at the Presbyterian church where he grew up. Those were exciting years of ministry that saw a local youth group grow out of nothing to more than 25 kids. At age 21 Pastor Tom decided to attend a Pentecostal church where God rocked his world and he was baptized in the Holy Spirit in the midst of a worship service. From then on, Pastor Tom pursued ministry with all his heart. After completing Bible School in the mid 90's Pastor Tom became licensed and eventually planted a church in Detroit, MI where he pastored for 21 years.
Eventually he decided to pursue credentials in The Church of God, transferred in, and now pastor's Northstar Church. Pastor Tom currently holds the credentials of Ordained Bishop in the Church of God. Pastor Tom was originally planning to be a music teacher and studied music early on in college before leaving the program to attend Bible School. Throughout his 34+ year ministry career he has continued to play guitar & keyboards and sing. He routinely joins the band and has a heart for worship. As a side interest Pastor Tom is also an NRA licensed firearms instructor teaching pistol safety and CPL courses. He's also an avid bass fisherman and loves to be out on the water fishing for his favorite fish...Smallmouth Bass. He developed his love for Smallmouth fishing living near one of the top Smallmouth lakes in the world, Lake St. Clair, MI. It's here he spent 25 years honing his skills and love of the sport. The fishing isn't the same here in WA, so Pastor Tom spends a lot of time nowadays pursuing his other hobbies such as hunting and sport shooting. Stick around long enough and you're sure to be invited to the woods for an afternoon of shooting.
Many who get to know Pastor Tom wonder if he's really a Pentecostal (at first) because he doesn't tend to be as charismatic as some of his ministry colleagues. This is due to Pastor Tom's passion for those who don't know Jesus. More than anything in the whole world he wants to see people come to know Jesus and connect with a church. So he follows the Apostle Paul's advice in the scripture about how to practice the Pentecostal gifts in such a way that we don't confuse people on Sunday mornings. He said in 1 Corinthians 14:18-19 "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue." Pastor Tom loves to pray in tongues and is often used in gifts of healing, prophecy, and words of wisdom and knowledge. He loves praying for people and seeing God work. However on Sundays, he feels it is of paramount importance to have a church experience that makes sense to visitors while still celebrating our Pentecostal heritage. So while you may not hear tongues shouted aloud at Northstar on Sundays (Wednesdays may be a little different) you should know that Pastor Tom believes in operating in the fullness of Pentecostal power in everything he does. At Northstar we will happily pray for the sick, believing God still heals. We pray that God will use us to speak words of wisdom and knowledge to one another. People pray in tongues regularly. We believe in miracles. Pastor Tom has been used especially in gifts of healing throughout his ministry career.
At Northstar you will also experience what originally opened the door of Pastor Tom's heart to the power of the Holy Spirit...worship. As a worshiper, Pastor Tom loves authentic, passionate worship. It's in worship you'll most likely see that his Pentecostal roots are the engine powering everything he's about. But most of all, Pastor Tom values authenticity. He loves to say "I just want what's real...I just want God...if it's God, I want it." Authenticity is something Pastor Tom values perhaps more than any other personality trait.
More than all those style things, Pastor Tom is about speaking the truth to this wayward and confused generation. Too many churches have gone the woke route, afraid to speak the truth for fear of becoming unpopular. Pastor Tom realizes speaking truth may mean less popularity and perhaps even a smaller church. Nevertheless, he fearlessly preaches the Word of God because God's truth trumps all other considerations. And in the end, he believes people will be drawn to the truth of God's Word because the Bible declares that God does the drawing to Himself. In a world full of compromise, you will hopefully find this dedication to the truth of God's perfect Word refreshing and necessary. This is why Pastor Tom says "If you're looking for a good show, we might not be the church you're looking for. But if you're looking for uncompromising truth, fearless preaching, and transformative worship, we might be the church for you."
In 2009 Pastor Tom married Gretchen. They have two daughters and a young son. They love to camp, laugh, joke, worship, play games, and try new places to eat. Gretchen has a heart for ministry and supports Pastor Tom in everything he does. The whole Ouweleen family is involved in ministry at the church from the Tech Team, to kids ministry, to ladies ministry. They are family that loves God and serving His people. Perhaps the best way to describe them is: they're just real. Some find it a little odd that Pastor Tom doesn't always act "like a pastor" because he's just a down to Earth guy. What you see is what you get. Come get to know him and his family some Sunday.