In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Thomas Norman, 1928-2023

Thomas Norman, 1928-2023
IMB Photo

Thomas Norman, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Colombia, died Oct. 1, 2023. He was 94.

Tommy was born Oct. 30, 1928, in Trenton, Texas, to the late Lee and Hazel Norman. He graduated from Trenton High School in Trenton, Texas, and received the Bachelor of Arts from North Texas State College, Denton, Texas, and the Bachelor of Divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (now Gateway Seminary) in California.

In 1948 Tommy joined the Army. He left the Army in 1949, and in October 1950, he was called back to active duty during the Korean War. While in seminary Tommy worked with a mission church in Linda Mar, California, and pastored other churches. After seminary, he continued to pastor.

He married Joan Watson on February 16, 1951.

In 1962, the International Mission Board appointed Tommy and Joan missionaries to Colombia. The Normans planted a church in Manizales, Colombia. When they embarked on their first stateside assignment (formerly called furlough) four years later, the congregation was healthy and thriving. The Primera Iglesia Bautista in Manizales is still thriving today.

In the couple’s second term in Bogota, Colombia, he worked both with churches and in the book depository, distributing Spanish language materials for Baptist churches. Twelve years later, they moved to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where he served with a mission group whose goal was to become a church. While in Bolivia, he worked in literature distribution for the Baptist churches as well.

Tommy is survived by his wife, Joan; three children, Linda, Larry, and Nancy; three grandsons, and a great granddaughter.

A funeral service was held on Oct. 7, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at Generosity Resource Center – IMB Generosity 

Read an obituary here.