SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. — Tom Madden, 90, executive
director/treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Convention (TBC) from 1979-89, died
July 19 in Shelbyville, Tenn.
A native of Enid, Okla., Madden came to Tennessee in 1951 to
serve as pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenbrier after serving as a pastor
in both his home state and in Texas. His ministry would continue in Tennessee
for the remainder of his life. Even after his retirement as executive director,
he remained active in serving various TBC institutions and churches.
Madden left Greenbrier in 1954 to accept the pastorate of
First Baptist Church in Tullahoma, where he ministered until 1976 when he
joined the staff of the convention as director of convention ministries,
serving in that role until being selected as executive director (then executive
secretary-treasurer) on Jan. 1, 1979.
As a Tennessee pastor, Madden was president of the state
convention in 1969 and served on the state convention’s executive board from
1958-64 and 1970-76.
At the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) level, Madden
served on the SBC Executive Committee from 1966-74 and was a director of the
former SBC Education Commission. A strong supporter of Christian higher
education, Madden had earned degrees from Oklahoma Baptist University in
Shawnee and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Current TBC Executive Director James Porch followed Madden
as pastor of First Baptist in Tullahoma and, later, to the state convention.
“For over 30 years, he allowed me to walk in his footsteps,
but upon his insistence, never in his shadow,” Porch said. “His desire
prevailed; I have been my own person throughout our friendship. We shared a
connection — a reciprocal human effort to travel through an extended season,
blending our ministries. We prayed together, laughed at each other, cried with
each other, disagreed face to face and always moved on.”
Madden was preceded in death by his wife Edna Earle. He is
survived by two children, Thomas J. Madden III of New Jersey and Jane Madden of
Nashville, and two grandchildren.
The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 22, at First
Baptist Church in Tullahoma. The body will lie in state in the chapel of the
Tennessee Baptist Convention in Brentwood Wednesday evening and the family will
receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Burial will be July 23 at 1 p.m. at Hollywood
Cemetery in Jackson, Tenn.
(EDITOR’S NOTE— Wilkey is editor of the Baptist and
Reflector, newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.)