About Tom and Diane
Tom Richardson has spoken about 5,000 times in 40 states and 27 other countries on the subject of relational evangelism. He has spoken in over 20 denominations and taught more than 25 short courses on Relational Evangelism at Bible schools around the world. He has also spoken for about 150 Friend Day outreaches in the U.S. and nine other countries.
Tom got an engineering degree from the University of Missouri at Rolla. After graduating he worked as a civil engineer doing transportation analysis at the state headquarters of the Illinois Department of Transportation. During his four years there he took the opportunity to share his faith through the relationships he built in the workplace. He saw about half of his office colleagues establish a relationship with Christ.
While working as an engineer he and some others opened a Christian coffeehouse named The Lighter Side of Darkness. Tom was the director for the first three years. During those three years, through personal sharing and the activities and outreaches of the coffeehouse, about 500 teens and young adults established a relationship with Christ. His work was recognized by the State of Illinois and he was given a Governor’s Citation for Outstanding Service to Youth.
After resigning his engineering position, Tom became the men’s supervisor at Hawaii Teen Challenge and then the men’s supervisor and interim director of Chicago Teen Challenge. After that he served three different churches for a total of nine and a half years as assistant pastor, associate pastor and pastor.
In 1984 Tom and Diane established People Reaching People Ministries to help equip Christians to more effectively share their faith in their everyday lives. He teaches from the perspective of one who used to feel unsure and unable to share his faith, who avoided a public speaking elective in college because of his commitment to never speak in public, but who now looks to the Lord to guide him to opportunities to share the Gospel. He has seen the tools that have effectively prepared him to share his faith help other Christians share their faith as well.
As Tom himself has shared the message of Christ over the years in the same conversational style that he teaches, he has had the privilege of praying with about 10,000 people as they made a commitment or recommitment to the Lord.
Diane has degrees in journalism and in library and information sciences. She has worked in public relations and has traveled with Tom, speaking in the U.S. and abroad on the topics of fear and depression, states of mind from which the Lord has freed her, and on Scripture meditation, which the Lord uses in her life daily to keep her free. Currently, she is a librarian with a firefighter training academy, serving first responders.
Tom and Diane are the grateful parents of two grown daughters and, over the years, various rescue dogs.