Tag : wabash

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Pastor of the Week: Tom Curry

By: Dezaray Barr

Tom Curry

Tom Curry is the Pastor of Living Faith Lutheran Church in Wabash, IN. He is also employed by a mission mobilization organization serving mainly evangelical Lutheran churches, Awakening Lives to World Missions, where he is the Mid-West Regional Representative.

Curry graduated from Taylor University with an undergraduate degree. He attended Huntington University for his graduate studies and received his M.A. in International Development from William Carey International University.

“I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from India Bible Institute in New Delhi, India, on March 1, 1995, for my work among India’s poor children,” Curry said. “I am the Founder of an Indian Trust – Center for Orphan Development and Education and assisted in the founding of its sister American organization, Friends of Hope, which presently supports children of five different residential homes in India.”

Curry and his wife, Rhonda, lost their first child in 1978. “I began to see the reality of hope that is relevant to life,” Curr said. “As painful as it was, God used that event to move me in the direction of people and coming along side of people without hope. This proved to be instrumental in my calling as a pastor. ”

Curry and his wife

Curry and his wife just celebrated 43 years of marriage. They have three children – Joni Annette (deceased), Jim and Jenny, as well as six grandchildren. They were licensed foster parents for 15 years and have adopted two children.

Curry said that in his time in pastoral ministry and as a missionary in India, spiritual warfare has been the biggest challenge. “It was only in recent years that I have come to realize the far-reaching effects of evil and present-day demonic activity. I believe the church is the primary target of our enemy the devil. Demonic activity is behind every church conflict. This is more blatant in developing nations,” he said.

Living Faith Lutheran Church is a new church start in Wabash. The church has two main themes – word and sacrament. “Communion is a big part of every service with an emphasis upon the real presence (not literal) of Christ in and through the communion elements,” Curry shared. “Corporate confession of sin along with pastoral absolution is part of our Eucharist.We value and are not ashamed of our connection with historical Christianity and see the ancient creeds as an important part of that connection.”

If Curry could encourage IWU students of one thing, he would tell them, “As you deepen your knowledge of God through His written Word, may you also deepen your knowledge and appreciation of how the Holy Spirit has worked throughout history. Appreciate the saints gone before you and seek to stand on their shoulders working with them, not doing your ‘own’ thing in isolation.”



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Mitch Figert: Educating Young Minds

By: Emily Lehner


The city of Wabash has seen immense growth within the last decade. A once quiet and uneventful town has blossomed into a bustling place to be. This was made possible by the devoted attention and hard work of many, caring Wabash citizens, specifically, Mitch Figert.


Mitch Figert, Executive Director at the Wabash County Historical Museum

Figert graduated from IWU with an associates degree in Business in 2009. He began working for The American Red Cross. After taking a few years off, Figert returned to IWU to finish his bachelor’s degree in Business with a specialty in Human Resources in 2013. He said, “IWU classes have an education and church mix, where they have class Bible studies and devotions weekly. I really enjoyed that.”  Figert was drawn back to IWU a third time because of their online program, in which he pursued a Masters in Public Administration with a specialty in Nonprofit.



An exhibit from the Wabash County Historical Museum

Figert took the lessons and joy he gained from his classes at IWU straight into the workforce. He now holds the Executive Director position for the Wabash County Historical Museum and has a chair on Wabash City Council. He said, “There are many really practical lessons that you get in the master’s program because it is so specialized to what I am doing.” Not only is he gaining knowledge through this time, but Figert is also bringing knowledge from the workforce into the classroom, which helps other students.


When Figert began his career with the Wabash County Historical Museum in 2013, he began developing a sustainable and relevant plan for the museum’s future. The museum serves as a collection site for county artifacts. One of the museum’s major focuses is on education. It uses authentic artifacts and the history of Wabash to teach the young minds that are growing in Wabash.

Haylee and Gpa Scooter

Figert’s daughter Haylee plays on one of the fun simulators at the WCHM

Figert also has introduced the Parkview Wabash Education Center. Before, “Wabash lacked a year-round indoor space for children to be in. This allows families to have creative play mixed with education,” he said. Annual attendance has almost doubled since the education center and community programming. The museum hosts family fun days every month that include crafts and free games.


Downtown Wabash Trolley

The charming Downtown Wabash area and Trolley

The growth of the museum has been followed closely by many new businesses. Figert’s involvement with City Council and with many key committees has allowed him to be up close and personal to the renewal of this downtown area. Wabash now holds new boutiques, a unique toy store, and the Charley Creek Inn.


Figert said, “We have kids. We have friends that come to town to visit. We want to make Wabash attractive to a family.” Every first Friday of the month, downtown Wabash stays open after regular business to host families from around the area. This includes food, music, and specials within the stores for children.


Figert and the other workers of downtown Wabash apply this reoccurring family first principle in the workplace as well. Figert attempts to live his life in a way that people look up to him. He said, “Indiana Wesleyan has not only given me the skills to be great at what I do, but to truly be a person of character.” With summer right around the bend, Wabash is planning some special events. Figert and the citizens of Wabash plan to take full advantage of the great events happening there.



Emily Lehner is a writer for the Alumni Center, and is a Sophomore Writing major. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com. Her blog includes personal trials, triumphs, and devotion style writing.