Tom Houston: Gifted leader with huge global influence

Julia Cameron  |  People
Date posted:  1 Jul 2024
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Tom Houston: Gifted leader with huge global influence

photo: Lausanne.org

Tom Houston was one of the most highly-gifted leaders of his generation. He led three movements of global reach, bringing a fine mind to analysis and strategy, and an unusual gift in preaching.

Tom grew up in Dumbarton, on the Clyde, and read Classics at Glasgow University. From teenage years he was a keen member of Glasgow Youth for Christ, and through YFC he met his future wife, Hazel Findlay. At the age of 23 he was appointed pastor of Johnstone Baptist Church, while completing a BD, and teaching Greek to undergraduates. From there he became Chaplain of Quarriers Homes in Bridge of Weir, ministering to 500 deprived children, as well as 150 epileptic patients, and 250 staff.

In 1959, aged 31, Tom was invited to become the first pastor of Nairobi Baptist Church. His 12 years in Kenya included much political upheaval: the Mau-Mau rebellion was largely quelled, but the country remained under British rule until 1964.

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