tompTom Parrish was born in a suburb of Toledo, Ohio in 1950. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree in education at the University of Toledo and taught high school for two years. Tom then attended the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbus, Ohio and graduated in 1978 with a Masters of Divinity.

He served his first congregation of thirty-two adults in Bellbrook, Ohio. He watched Jesus multiply that same church to three hundred believers seven years later.  In 1985 Tom and his family followed the Lord to Minneapolis where he has served three congregations to the present as Senior Pastor.

Tom has been married to Jan, his partner in the Gospel, for forty-two years. Jan has served as a public school teacher, elementary principal, and educational consultant both in the public schools and the church.  They have three sons and eight grandchildren.