Pastor Tom Petro
Tom was born and grew up in Flint, Michigan. At the age of seven, he trusted in the Lord for his salvation. Tom and his family attended the North Baptist Church in Flint, where Cedric Sears was Pastor.
Upon graduation from high school in 1980, Pastor Tom attended Cedarville College for one year, planning to pursue the course of accounting. Through the preaching of a visiting preacher at Cedarville, Mike Cocoris, Pastor Tom was led to change his course of study, having understood that he had been called to preach the Word of God.
Pastor Tom worked for a year to earn money in order to attend college in the fall of 1982. He started briefly at Maranatha Baptist Bible College and soon transferred to the Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa, where his former pastor, Dr. Gordon Shipp, was serving as president. At Faith, he enrolled in the Pastoral Studies program.
Upon arriving at Faith, he learned that they had a tradition of a "Sadie Hawkins Day" party at the school. The girls at the school could ask any 'unspoken for' guys to this party. IF they refused, then they could not accept another invitation from some other young woman. Brenda Fincham (who came to know the Lord at the young age of four) asked Tom, who she never met before, to the party. However, Tom, being the new dashingly handsome man on campus, had already been asked to the party by another damsel.
Tom, who was mentally quick on his feet, got Brenda's name and later found where she stayed on campus. A couple of weeks later, on October 29th, they dined together by 'candle light' at the local and very romantic Long John Silver's restaurant. Tom, like many students, had no car, so wherever they went they walked. Their first formal date was that dinner and a concert by the music faculty, including Dr. Bergerson, Dr. Doonan and Mr. Wolfe. Understanding clearly the destiny of the Lord, he asked Brenda to marry him as they walked along the beautiful shores of Saylorville Lake near the college. Brenda, also knowing the divine plan of the Lord, said, "YES!!!" Well, as they say, the rest is history. They were married on August 10th, 1985, in Marysville, Kansas, near where Brenda was reared.
Pastor Tom graduated in the Spring of 1986 and then went back for a year at Faith Seminary.
Pastor Tom was contacted by Open Door Baptist Church early in the fall of 1987. The first time he preached at Open Door was September 27th, 1987. He was called by the Church, with his first Sunday being November 8th, 1987.
Not long after they were at Open Door, the Lord gave them their first child, Timothy, born July 19th, 1988. On August 5th, 1991, they were blessed with a daughter, Rachel. December 29th, 1999, another boy was born to the family, Benjamin. Tim currently serves in the United States Navy (stationed in Japan and assigned to the USS George Washington) and is married to Monica (Lacina) Petro; Rachel is a sophomore at the University of Arizona in Tucson, majoring in Spanish and Italian and minoring in Portuguese; and Ben is a 6th grader at Liberty Traditional School in Prescott Valley.
Pastor Tom developed a lengthy doctrinal statement and presented it to an Ordination Council at Open Door on October 10th, 1994. His presentation of the truth and splendid defense led to his ordination on that date.