Tom Asbury, pastor of Spokane Baptist, grew up in Spokane and graduated from South Carolina’s Bob Jones University with a degree in religion. He planted his first church in the small town of Palmyra, N.Y., in 1975. The church started with eight members who met at Asbury’s home. It grew to more than 150 members.
Returning home to Spokane in 1984, Asbury planted a Baptist church in Otis Orchards the following year. It started with four people meeting in a church member’s home and eventually grew to more than 40. The church eventually merged with Otis Orchards Community Church.
Asbury left the church in 2000 to help start Foundation Baptist church in Coeur d’Alene. He served as the church’s associate pastor for five years.
The original eight members who planted Spokane Baptist had been attending Foundation Baptist but left with Asbury to plant a church in Spokane.
“The blessing of starting a church is to see lives changed by God,” said Asbury, who typically begins each church in his home. “I like to start churches, it’s a gift. It’s a more pioneer type spirit, you might say.”
Asbury worked full time while planting the different churches. His experience includes a factory representative with Duro-Test Corp. for 17 years. He also started his own lighting business, Morning Star Light and Energy and operated that for more than 25 years.
– Valerie Putnam