June 30, 2020:
John Thornburg Retires from TMF After Seven Years of Faithful Service
Last Wednesday, we celebrated Rev. John Thornburg’s service to TMF and his dedication to empowering the church to achieve its God-appointed mission. While COVID-19 kept us from celebrating in our traditional ways, as it has done for most of the world this year, it was with great joy that we came together virtually to thank John for his time working with the Area Representative team.
During our celebration, we reminisced about his work, influence on our lives, and love of music. In honor of his vibrant affection for music and hymnody, our staff sang for him, even performing one of the hymns he wrote.
John has served as the VP of Area Staff since 2017 and is retiring from his full-time role this month. Rev. Carol Montgomery will assume his position leading the Area Representative team as John transitions into a part-time position within Leadership Ministry. Before he served as VP, he was the Area Representative to the North Texas Conference. TMF captured his imagination, pulling him away from pastoral ministry and missions in Africa to explore a new ministry.
When he learned that his role would be focused on clergy development, he knew it was the right fit. “Every day, in this position I had the chance to visit my heroes,” John said with joy. “You gave me a chance to make a difference, to urge the church to be its best self. It was an extraordinary privilege to sit at the table with the Area Representatives.”
Of course, we feel like we were privileged to share his talents with the church. He tirelessly worked with other leaders to bring in new language and questions around purpose, generosity, and courage to help churches discern where God was calling them and to lay the foundation for the work Area Representatives would do across Texas and New Mexico. His efforts have shaped an entire service area for our organization and that groundwork will forever impact TMF’s larger ministry.
As President Tom Locke noted during our celebration, “There are people who come through TMF who make a difference, whose presence has made us better. There are also those whose influence is so great that they create new DNA within an organization and John is one of those people. John has changed the soul of TMF.”
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, TMF is a nonprofit organization offering assistance to United Methodists through investments, loans, grants and leadership, stewardship, gift planning, and endowment services. TMF serves the six United Methodist conferences throughout Texas and New Mexico. Leading from its core values of servanthood, integrity, and competence, TMF has been serving United Methodist congregations for more than 80 years. It is the largest United Methodist foundation in the country with more than $600 million in assets under management. To learn more, please visit tmf-fdn.org.