I am the pastor of Sovereign Grace Church, a Southern Baptist Church in White House, Tennessee. I have been married to Jamie Lynn (Law) Francis for twenty-two years. We are blessed to be the parents of seven children. Our two oldest sons are serving in the military: Colton is in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army; Keenan is in the 27th Special Operations Wing (16th AMU) of the U.S. Air Force. Additionally, our oldest daughter is attending college, and the four youngest are still at home causing my hair to turn grey!
You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can view sermons and lessons on YouTube: “Dr. T.J. Francis”
My call to ministry? In the Summer of 2001, my wife and I surrendered to the Lord’s call to ministry. Although some believe that a call is specific (e.g., a call to youth ministry, a call to full-time or part-time, etc.), we committed to serving in whatever capacity the Lord opened for us. It eventually became clear, however, that I was called to serve as a pastor. Over the past 18 years, the Lord has opened several different doors:
1) Pastoring traditional/established churches (Church Revitalization);
2) Planting new churches;
3) Starting college ministries;
4) Teaching in colleges (both sacred and secular); and
5) Training leaders in foreign countries such as Malawi (2003, 2005), Haiti (2013, 2016), Indonesia (2015), and Romania (2019).
Why Church Planting? In 2016, two families approached me about planting a Southern Baptist Church in the Middle Tennessee area. After gathering several families, we all agreed to hold four informational meetings to discuss the possibility of planting a gospel-centered and Christ-glorifying baptist church that did not cater to the culture but focused on teaching the Bible and equipping Christians to know, love, and serve God. As we began planning, God sent additional families and we were able to launch the church in 2016. For more information on the church, visit the website at www.whitehouse.church.
Why Legal Studies? After completing multiple theological degrees at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I felt God calling me to step away from formal theological studies and receive training in jurisprudence. Although this transition may perplex some observers, God’s plans are not subject to societal norms. Studying at Belmont Law School has not in any way altered my calling to pastoral ministry. In many ways, studying the law has enhanced and sharpened my ministry and teaching skills.
[Picture: Dr. Francis interviewing the Honorable Alberto Gonzales, Dean of Belmont Law School, 80th Attorney General of the United States, White House Counsel for President George W. Bush, and former Justice on the Texas Supreme Court.]
For more info on Pastor T.J., check out “Why I am a Baptist.”
Doctor of Ministry, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
Emphasis on Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
Juris Doctorate, Belmont University College of Law, Nashville, Tennessee
Emphasis on Constitutional and Criminal Law
Master of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
Emphasis on World Religions (particularly Islam) and Evangelism (Completed 8 Ph.D. seminars and 5 Colloquia in World Religions and Evangelism)
Master of Divinity, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
Emphasis on Great Commission Studies
Bachelor of Science, Union University, Hendersonville, Tennessee
Emphasis on Organizational Leadership
Bachelor of Arts, Temple Baptist College, Cincinnati, Ohio
Emphasis on Christian Ministries (particularly pastoral leadership)
Sovereign Grace Church, White House, TN – Church Planter and Pastor
Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Cross Plains, TN – Lead Pastor
New City Church, Louisville, KY –Church Planter and Lead Pastor
First Baptist Church, Walton, KY – Sr. Pastor
South Jefferson Baptist Church, Louisville, KY – Sr. Pastor
The Areopagus at ECTC, Elizabethtown, KY – Founder & Teacher
Formal Teaching Experience
University of Jeremie, Haiti – Visiting Professor
Elizabethtown Community & Technical College, Elizabethtown, Kentucky – Adjunct Professor of Religion
Boyce, The College at Southern, Louisville, Kentucky – Adjunct Professor of Worldview and Culture
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – Garrett Fellow
Ohio Mid-Western College, Sharonville, Ohio – Department Chair & Associate Professor
Temple Baptist College, Cincinnati, Ohio – Adjunct Professor of Practical Theology
College/Seminary Courses Taught
Courses Taught: Comparative Religions, Theology of Cults & New Religious Movements, Intro to Church History, Systematic Theology I, II, & III, Intro to Church Growth, Intro to Christian Apologetics, Discipleship Principles, Biblical Interpretation, Missions and the Old Testament, Pastoral Ministry Practicum, Science and the Bible, Historical Theology, Personal Evangelism, and Intro to Christian Philosophy.
Guest Lectures: Engaging Adherents of New Religious Movements; Introduction to Islam; Effectively Engaging Muslims in an Urban Context; Introduction to Buddhism; Evangelizing Eastern Religions
INTERNATIONAL MISSION EXPERIENCE
Romania – Sighet (2019) – Training Pastors (e.g., Biblical Interpretation, Galatians)
Haiti – Jeremie (2016) – Training Pastors (e.g., Church History); Medical Clinic
Indonesia – Halmahera – Ternate (2015) – Training Pastors (e.g., Christology); Medical and Dental Clinics
Haiti – Caanan (2013) – Training Pastors (e.g., Soteriology); Eye Clinics
Malawi, Africa – Lilongwe (2005) – Leadership Training (e.g., Systematic Theology); Bible Distribution
Malawi, Africa – Mazuzu (2003) – Pioneer Church Planting in Northern Malawi; Bible Distribution
Biblical Study Guides (Self-Published)
- What is the Gospel? A Study of the Book of Galatians, Part 1
- What is the Gospel? A Study of the Book of Galatians, Part 2
- The Unfailing Love of God: A Study of the Book of Malachi
- Sovereign Through the Chaos: A Study of the Book of Judges
- The Forgotten Twelve: A Theological Survey of the Minor Prophets
- Doctor of Ministry Project/Thesis: Integrating Apologetics with Personal Evangelism.
- Review of Helen Rhee, Loving the Rich, Saving the Poor: Wealth, Poverty, and Early Christian Formation. The Southern Baptist Journal of Missions and Evangelism.