About Dr. T.J. Francis

I am the pastor of Sovereign Grace Church, White House, Tennessee. I have been married to Jamie Lynn (Law) Francis for well over two decades. We are blessed to be the parents of seven children. Our two oldest sons are 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 preparing to attend college, and the four youngest are still at home causing my hair to turn grey!

pastor tj blog bio

You can contact me via email at thomasfrancis1977@gmail.com.

You can view sermons and lessons on YouTube: “Dr. T.J. Francis”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyFLS93Trxtd_zMLsdbdyYw

My call to ministry? In the Summer of 2001, my wife and I surrendered to vocational ministry. Although some believe that a call to ministry is specific (e.g., a call to youth ministry, 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 would serve as a pastor. Over the past 18 years, the Lord has opened several different doors:

1) Pastoring traditional/established churches;
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 September of 2016, several families approached me about planting a baptist church in the Middle Tennessee area. It is true that beautiful things are often born out of adversity, and this has certainly been true of Sovereign Grace Church. After gathering several other families, we all agreed to hold four informational meetings to discuss the possibility of planting a gospel-centered and Christ-glorifying 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.

My wife and I have a desire to help families adopt by providing pro bono legal services. Thus, we view my pursuit of legal studies and future admission to the bar as a means to a greater end: serving God by serving others! First, we are passionate about foster care and adoption (both foreign and domestic). We’ve adopted three children through the foster care system. Second, we want to save lives, literally and spiritually. Thus, we are praying that God will use us to develop, implement, and lead an adoption ministry within the church. We believe that together with God’s people we can save hundreds, maybe even thousands, of unborn children.

Additionally, I plan to use my legal education to defend the gospel, whether that means defending 1st Amendment rights or speaking to skeptical college students. Wherever the Lord leads, I will follow!

For more info on Pastor T.J., check out “Why I am a Baptist.

Educational Credentials      

Juris Doctorate, Candidate, Belmont University College of Law, Nashville, Tennessee

Doctor of Ministry, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

An emphasis in Christian Apologetics and Evangelism

Master of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

An emphasis in World Religions (particularly Islam) and Evangelism; Completed all course work in the Doctor of Philosophy program. 

Master of Divinity, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

An emphasis in Great Commission Studies

Bachelor of Science, Union University, Hendersonville, Tennessee

An emphasis in Organizational Leadership

Bachelor of Arts, Temple Baptist College, Cincinnati, Ohio

An emphasis in Christian Ministries (particularly pastoral leadership)

Ministry Experience

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

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

Publications

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

Published Works/Reviews

  • 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.

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