TOM & DENISE RAWLS
My wife Denise and I are the Lead Pastors of Proclaimers an exciting, 21st century church in the city of Norwich, Great Britain.
We are a committed couple with a passionate desire to see the salvation of our city and beyond; to build a local church of significance and influence.
Denise and I are both ordained ministers with the Assemblies of God, Australia and have a legacy of pioneering cutting-edge churches in Australia and an extensive background in world missions throughout Asia across a 30 year career.
We’ve been living in Norwich now since July 2003; and loving it! Please feel free to drop us an email to say hi.
Tom was born in Lakeland Florida USA in 1957 and moved to Australia when he was 11 years old. At the age of 17 he became a Christian. He later attended Commonwealth Bible College (now Alphacrucis College) and graduated with a diploma in Bible and Theology. He began ministering on a full time basis in January 1979.
Tom is a direct, incisive and entertaining speaker. He has a clear gift for applying biblical principles to everyday life in a profound and poignant way. His messages build upon and apply the principles of scripture to see spiritual growth and personal development
There is no doubt that as you listen to Tom you’ll realise that he is focused on seeing people connecting with God and eternity. His clear emphasis is on building a culture that reflects the kingdom of God, healthy people and dynamic leaders; building an effective local church. This is conveyed with characteristic passion, humour and relevance.
Australia: Church Planter • Pastor • Communicator 1979 – 1991
In 12 years Tom planted 8 churches across Australia, including Alice Springs, Horsham and Destiny Church in Moorabbin, Melbourne.
Tom’s preaching has taking him to many churches, conferences, pastor’s gatherings, youth camps and bible schools throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Tom is an inspiring communicator. He has a sense of accessibility and challenge as he preaches. He is known for developing great leaders, challenging people in their personal development and building great churches that have stood the test of time.
Tom’s preaching gift has taken him literally around the world over his 30+ years of ministry. He is well known in Australia and has travelled extensively throughout Asia, working in over 15 different countries. He is a church planter, a church builder and father in the faith to many.
WORLD MISSION: Thailand 1991 – 2003
Tom and Denise served oversees as a missionary for 12 and a half years. During this time he was primarily based in Bangkok, Thailand. His insights into world mission are based upon 9 years experience of working with AOG World Missions Australia and 3 years with World Vision.
He served as Field Leader for Thailand for 2 years and as Regional Director for 5 years. This work took him primarily to Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and around the Asia region. He also ministered in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
In his role as Regional Director (1995 – 2000) he made many visits back to Australia for recruiting, fund raising and interviewing potential missionaries. He inspired churches and ministers to be more focused on world mission and the awesome needs of the world.
In his last two years with AOG World Missions, Tom served in an executive position on the World Missions Council: the first ever sitting missionary to be appointed to the board.
In June 2000 Tom was asked to join World Vision and function in the role of pastoral care and spiritual formation. Most of his work was focused on WV’s largest field, Bangladesh. Tom worked with expats and local WV staff to formulate a program to ensure the spiritual formation of WV’s Christian staff. This model then went to the partnership for further implementation.
Tom was involved in capacity building, leadership development and communicating WV’s culture and values. During this time he was responsible for compiling a book on “Folk Islamic Practices” with commensurate studies in Islamic Studies.
In his role with World Vision, Tom travelled extensively in Asia and to other countries including Ethiopia and South Africa.
NORWICH, ENGLAND: 2003 to present
Tom and Denise arrived in Norwich, England in June 2003 to pastor Proclaimers. The church was first founded in the early 1990s by Bob Gordon who was well known for his apostolic teaching ministry and the seeds of greatness were planted in the church. It was a church of around 100 people when Tom and Denise took the reins and since arriving and through some “dangers, toils and snares” the church has grown in attendance to over 700 people.
The church today is awesome! An exciting place with lots of young adults connecting with God. The church is characterised by its great music, innovative media, passionate praise and moving worship. Every week people are connecting with God through the preaching and ministry of the church.
Tom is currently working on developing his team, creating culture and further developing the church to see many people connecting with God. Proclaimers is one of the significant churches in both Norwich and Norfolk.
Tom recently released his first book Relentless: A renaissance theology for the 21st Century Church and plans to increase the amount of resources available to those that lead churches with a desire to grow and impact their cities and communities. Tom has the desire to be significantly involved in touching the world with the message of Jesus Christ.