SPRINGFIELD -- Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton has announced the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Logsdon as IGRC Director of Connectional Ministries, effective July 1, 2014.
"Rev. Logsdon has a passion for Camping, Congregational Outreach, Mission, team ministry, ministry in IGRC and a relational spirit that bodes well for his work among us," Keaton said in announcing the appointment.
This announcement was made May 4 at Coal City UMC, where Logsdon has been pastor since July 2005. He succeeds the Rev. Kent Lolling, who has been appointed pastor of Springfield Laurel UMC. Lolling has served as Director of Connectional Ministries for the past eight years.
“It’s all about equipping the saints for the work of the ministry,” Logsdon said following the announcement of his appointment. “Often that’s best done in the local church and it’s our job to assist them as necessary. Other times, equipping local churches for the work of the ministry means connecting them with other churches so they can pool their resources. Connecting churches together is part of equipping.”
Logsdon sees his role as “helping the local churches of our conference and their leaders thrive in ministry.”
“We succeed as a conference when our local churches succeed,” he added, “and they succeed by making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Logsdon received his License to Preach in 1975 and started serving churches at 17 years of age. He was ordained a deacon/probationary member in the former Central Illinois Conference in 1978 and an elder in full connection in 1981. He received a B. A. in Religion from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1977; a Master of Divinity from The Chicago Theological Seminary in 1980; and a Doctor of Arts in History from Illinois State University in 1999.
In addition to pastoring the Flanagan, Rooks Creek, Long Point, and Nigh Chapel UMCs (1975-1977); Chicago Heights St. Mark United Church of Christ (1977-1978); Grant Park and Illinana Heights UMCs (1978-1980); Lostant and Richland UMCs (1980-1982); Lewistown UMC (1982-1987); Onarga UMC (1988-1992); Sugar Creek UMC (2000-2005); and Coal City UMC; Logsdon has taught American History at Illinois State University (1987-1988) as part of his Doctoral Fellowship and served as a denominational mission executive with the General Board of Global Ministries with responsibility for the 10 southernmost countries of Africa (1992-1996) and the mission personnel from and serving in East Asia and the Pacific (1996-2000).
Logsdon has taught in 13 Schools for License as Local Pastor, 14 Regional and Conference Schools of Christian Mission, and multiple conference and jurisdictional Courses of Study on Changing the World (his most frequent subject), Evangelism, and Ethics.
He has published 23 devotional and Christian education pieces on topics ranging from Bible study and Islam to gene splicing and suicide and has visited 34 countries on 5 continents.
His wife Janice has been in his partner in ministry since 1979. She herself has worked as a media technician for the Central Illinois Conference (1977-1978) and an administrative assistant for the General Board of Global Ministries (1993-2000) and the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference (2000-2005). They are blessed with two grown children – Julie and Ron – and three grandchildren.