Rev Tom Hall and his wife Jana moved to Pittsburgh in 2005 so that Tom could attend Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS). It was their 19th move. The previous year, Tom had completed a 30-year career in the Air Force, retiring in the rank of colonel as the Chairman of the Leadership and Ethics Department at the Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. His career had included experience in flying operations, reconnaissance, intelligence, flight test, headquarters staff, international duty, and three command assignments. Besides a Master of Divinity from PTS, Tom has a BS in American Studies from the Air Force Academy, an MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and a Doctor of Human Letters from Waynesburg University.
Tom frequently describes himself as has having been a “marginal” Christian for much of his life. In 1999, he began to realize that his two sons, then in high school, needed to see their father living out his faith. Tom quit making excuses that he was “too busy” for church. One thing led to another, and church friends started suggesting that Tom had found a calling to a second career in ministry. When his Air Force friends got over the shock that Tom was actually going to seminary, they also got on board with the idea. Some even suggested that Tom wouldn’t have to work hard: he could find a little church on a corner somewhere and “do their weddings and funerals.”
Tom is the 15th senior pastor in the 243-year history of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh. First Pres finds itself in the middle of the fastest growing neighborhood in the “most livable city” in the county. At the same time, the city isn’t livable for everyone. God has given Tom and First Pres enormous ministry opportunities and challenges. Tom is challenging the church to embrace its mission, Transforming Pittsburgh by awakening a new generation to life in Christ.
Besides Jana, Tom enjoys travel, movies, lattes, red wine, and the occasional single malt.