TF Tenney – Tom Fred Tenney Biography, Sermons, Death
TF Tenney Biography
TF Tenney (Tom Fred Tenney) is a united Pentecostal Leader born on 6th December 1933 DeRidder, Louisiana. In 2005 he was inducted into the UPCI’s Order of the Faith. He has ministered in the United Pentecostal Church International for more than 65 years
His father, Fred Eugene Tenney, was of cajun descent, having moved north from the bayous to DeRidder when he was twenty years of age. There he met and married Jennie Veve Nichols. His mother’s family were pioneers of southwest Louisiana. Prior to his birth, his mother miscarried a son and promised the Lord if He gave her a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord and to ministry. He has an older sister Nelda.
TF Tenney Career/ Ministry
TF Tenney family members attended the First Baptist Church in DeRidder. The sincere preaching of the early pastors made a profound impact upon the young man Tom. He recalls, “The Baptists taught me that the Bible was the infallible, inerrant Word of God. This served as a backdrop when I literally read my way into the full gospel experience.
At the age of sixteen in the summer 1949 TF Tenney slipped into the back of the Pentecostal church across the tracks to hear a nun give her testimony, more on a lark than anything else, he found himself fascinated as the nun spoke for about twenty minutes; then a lady preacher delivered a sermon. He had never heard such preaching-and from a woman! It simply was not done that way in the Baptist church. Yet, feeling something he could not escape, he found himself back there the next night. He did not understand their doctrine. He did not understand their worship. He did not understand their lifestyle. But he could deny what he felt. The connection had been made. The Holy Spirit was drawing and before school started in the fall, Tom Fred Tenney was a new man in Christ.
He felt attracted to the ministry and service. He gt opportunities to to speak at youth rallies and fellowship meetings. Remembering those early days of his experience, he says, “I felt that you had to do whatever the Word said and whatever leadership told you to do.”
George L. Glass Sr was his mentor and spiritual father, he was a man of prayer and of the Word. His early days of ministry he promised the Lord he would pray at least an hour a day. He says today, “By His grace, I faithfully fulfill that.” He also made a vow to God that he would study and, as far as he could, master thre chapters of the Bible a day. It took him over thre years to go through the Scriptures in this manner. He had very little reference material. His mother bought him a Jameson-Fawcett-Brown Complete Commentary. He had a Cruden’s Concordance, a Bible dictionary, and later a set of books called Handfuls on Purpose. “Some nights I was up until two or three o’clock in the morning, keeping my vow-especially when I got to the 119th Psalm! It wasn’t just a cursory reading-but it was looking into the Scriptures, searching everything I could find on the subject. Things that God gave me then-when I was sixteen, seventeen, eighteen years of age-are still with me today.”
TF Tenney was elected Louisiana District youth secretary in 1952.In 1953 he was elected as sectional youth leader. In 1954 he was subsequently elected district youth president. He continued in that position until 1960 when he was elected international youth president-a position he held until 1969.
During the time T.F. Tenney was Pentecostal Conquerors president, the Bible Quizzing program was launched, a number of youth camps across the country wre initiated, and Youth Conventions were founded. Sheaves for Christ reached all-time highs and was expanded to bless a number of other divisions of the church. The Conquerors Tread was first published under his leadership-the forerunner of today’s Conquerr magazine.
At the age of 36 in 1969 TF Tenney was elected as Foreign Missions director. It was unprecedented for a man of his age to be elected to one of the highest offices-and one of the most responsible offices in the United Pentecostal Church International.
In January 1970 TF Tenney assumed the responsibility of Foreign Missions director and recalls;
“I walked into the office in St. Louis that first week in January totally ignorant. All I knew to do was pou myself into it. I would take stacks of files home at night and read through entire files of missionaries and past missions experiences, reading both current and history. In those days I had somewhat of a photographic memory. I am sorry to say that at my age now I’ve evidently run out of film! The Division had faced a major financial crises. We were in deficit. That year, Partners in Missions was launched. It was two years before there was a turnaround. But when it came, Foreign Missions zoomed! I can remember the year we passed the million dollar mark, and then the two million mark. It was unprecendented. God was with us. New nations were opened. We began an emphesis on Bible schools and a number of new Bible schools were opened around the world. Regional field supervisors were appointed. The School of Missions was begun. Short-term evangelistic policies and programs were implemented. Field conferences and regional conferences for missionaries were established. The fields were opened up for more participation from pastors and evangelists to make overseas trips and assist in the work. Missionary morale was on the rise.To God be the glory-revival came! Oh, the stories I could tell of my experiences as Foreign Missions director, if only time would permit.”
In the late 1975 Pastor George Glass Sr. resigned the church at DeRidder, Louisiana. The church immediately called the Tenney’s and asked if they would consider the church. TF Tenney went together with his wife and served the city of DeRidder and the people of the First Pentecostal Church untiringly until 1978.
The final night of Louisiana Camp Meeting in 1978, C.G. Weeks, who had been the district superintendent for twenty-five years died. In August an election was held and TF Tenney was elected. It was a day of deep mixed emotions. To have been asked by the brethren, among whom he had labored and with whom he had been reared, was one of the highest honors of his life. In his first remarks to the ministerial body, he pledged to them an administration of “progress and peace under the hand of God.”
TF Tenney together with his wife they served the Louisian District until 2005.During their tenure, new departments and ministries were launched and the existing departments were strengthened and experienced growth. In the last couple of years, the Louisiana District’s giving to each of the UPCI programs placed them as first in the nation, being the first district to accomplish this. Conferences, seminars, camps, and camp meetings continue to be hallmark events benefiting ministry and laity alike.
They retired but continue to travel and speak.They continue to share the gospel and invest themselves in people-teaching and preaching the whole gospel to the whole world. Thetus Tenney continues to serve as the coordinator of the World Network of prayer. T.F. Tenney is the bishop emeritus of the Louisisna District and serves as an honorary member of the UPCI General Board.
TF Tenney Wife and Children
On 27th December 1952 Tenney married Thetus Caughron in West Monroe, Louisiana. They have two children, Tom Gregory and Teri Denise (Spears).
T.F. Tenny was ninteen, and Thetus was eighteen, when they were elected to the pastorate of a fine home missions church in Monroe, Louisiana, in February 1953. He comments today, “Those were such precious people! Many of them to this day bear in their bodies the marks of T.F. Tenney and his immaturity. They were patient and kind.”
TF Tenney Death
T.F. Tenny died on 1st June 2018. Arrangements are listed below:
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Pentecostals of Alexandria
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Pentecostals of Alexandria
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Forest Lawn Cemetery