Asbury members listening to Dr. Tom Harrison on Perceptions or during his Sunday morning sermon hearing him relate amusing stories or seeing his mischievous grin cross his face think, “Okay, here’s a guy I can relate to.” However, along with these endearing qualities is a huge tender heart turned toward God and God’s people. He speaks from the heart and once stated that when he talks to the congregation, he talks as if he is talking to his friends and to “friends he hasn’t met yet”! He talks to the congregation in such a personal way, yet he unfailingly gets his message across.
One of his greatest joys comes from visiting with new members, talking one on one. “I like hearing what God’s doing in their lives and when they come to Christ. When I see lives transformed I feel privileged to be a part of that process,” he said.
According to Administrative Assistant Victoria Williamson, he is “booked to the max” almost every day, yet he always takes time to talk with people, make home visits, meet for lunch, and even come in on Saturdays for appointments when needed.
“With his Perceptions ministry, he reaches many people outside of Asbury. I get numerous calls requesting the Perception message that was heard on the radio.
“But perhaps more than anything I appreciate about him is the fact that he practices what he teaches from the pulpit. What you see is really what you get!”
With his “booked to the max” schedule, you’d think he would find very little leisure time. When he does he enjoys sports—especially the Sooners and the St. Louis Cardinals. He also likes to read history, especially the works of the late Stephen Ambrose. But best of all, he likes to win at “Tetris” when competing with his wife, Dana.
He sees Dana as an integral part of his ministry and a wise counselor. “Dana’s a good listener and very intelligent. She gives good advice.”
Though raised in the church, it wasn’t until he was 14-1/2 that he established a personal relationship with God. “There was a lay witness mission at my church. The people talked about asking Jesus into your life. At that time, I thought of church as something you did, not as a relationship. I was in ninth grade. I was totally transformed in every way. I began reading the Bible, praying and witnessing. It affected my entire view of the church. Now it was truly dynamic.”
Following graduation he received his bachelor’s degree from ORU. He continued his education earning a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Oral Roberts University. Prior to coming to Asbury in 1993, he pastored three other churches.
Dr. Harrison teaches the Word of God in such a way that it’s easily understood. His love for Christ is evident in the way he lives and the way he leads the Asbury family. He often marvels that he can do a job that he loves so much and still get paid for it.