|Church||Celebration Ministries International|
|Born||February 22, 1954|
|Children||Tommy Deuschle, Jonathan, Benjamin, Daniel, Sarah|
Tom Deuschle is the founder and senior pastor of Celebration Ministries International (former Hear The Word Ministries alongside his wife, Bonnie Deuschle. Although having started from very humble beginnings, the organisation has grown immensely and now boasts of churches in Africa, Europe and America.
Background Early Preaching
Tom was born on 22 February 1954. Tom is said to have come to Africa in 1979 with nothing save for a guitar and a few hundred dollars. He then started preaching to rural populations in their homes, farms and on street corners travelling with a motorbike. During the height of the Zimbabwean civil war, he started cell groups with very small numbers of people. He is married to fellow senior pastor Bonnie Deuschle with whom they have five children namely Tommy Deuschle, Jon, Ben, Dan and Sarah.
Through his ministry, Tom has been heavily involved in helping people in need and engaging in activities that directly impact society. One of the key areas in which they have significantly contributed is in healthcare where they offer assistance towards the treatment of HIV and AIDS. They also have programmes in which they offer help to orphans, widows, the destitute, sick and diseased, rural areas and cities throughout the country. In 2009, they also launched operation outstretched hand under which they funded the fight against cholera and over 33,000 people were given medical care through this outreach and 15,000 cholera cases were treated directly. They bankrolled the payment of medical staff in hospitals so that people inflicted with cholera could get medical attention when necessary. Tom has also overseen the provision of assistance to refugees, abandoned children and others in need through an arm of the church Compassion Ministries Through a donation of land from a farmer, they were able to build dormitory-styled homes in a rural, farm setting, with education facilities on the farm and a high school within walking distance.
Tom and wife Bonnie have also launched the Celebration School which is said to be the only International Accredited Christian School in Zimbabwe. Children who attend the school are said to be nurtured in a Christian environment at the same time receiving quality education and moral values.
Author and Mentor
Tom is also an author with various publications which touch on various aspects of contemporary Christian life. Some of his publications include
- Building People Building Dreams
- Surgical Prayer
- First Fruits
He has also been invited to speak on many forums ranging from religious activities to business related issues. He addresses heads of businesses on a yearly basis and is said to hold meetings with various African presidents. Locally, it is said that he has trained business people such as Nigel Chanakira and Strive Masiyiwa.
Sermons of Pastor Tom
He has been quoted on various platforms expressing his political opinion on several issues in Zimbabwe. During the run up to the 2013 elections, it is said that he encouraged Zimbabweans not to exhalt politicians above God. The popular pastor has often been described as controversial by certain sections of the media after there were claims that he had made a donation of USD 100 000 to president Robert Mugabe as well as making another donation of USD 30 million.
Stance on Homosexuality
Tom has also been very vocal on same sex marriages and relationships arguing that such practices go against everything that the word of God stands for. His sentiments were also in sync with the stance taken by president Robert Mugabe who has been on record for castigating homosexuality. Speaking on the matter Tom noted that in as much as they did not condemn them, what they were doing was wrong He made the remarks while speaking at a conference to mark the church's 30th anniversary in Zimbabwe.
Due to the divide between traditional forms of worship and christianity, Tom caused a stir when he invited traditional healers so that they could discuss remedies to diseases plaguing the continent. It was reported that several officials from Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association were at the Celebration centre to discuss remedies to the various diseases. Tom was quoted to have said that there was nothing wrong with the two organisation working together on matters of common interest.
- Tom Deuschle, Celebrate International, Retrieved: January 8, 2015
- Project Relocation: Moving Celebrated Kids to Cluster Home Development, Published: July 18, 2014, Retrieved: January 8, 2015
- Pastor Tom Deuschle Speaks Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections, Zim Eye, Published: July 29, 2013, Retrieved: January 8, 2015
- Celebration Church’s Tom Deuschle: homosexuality insults respect of God, Religion in Zimbabwe, Published: June 6, 2012, Retrieved: January 8, 2015
- Pastor brings sangomas to church to fight diseases, Newsbite, Published: May 29, 2012, Retrieved: January 8, 2015