Reverend Thomas Lynn Craft, age 90, the long-serving pastor of First Pentecostal Church of Jackson, transitioned to glory on October 28th while sleeping. He would have celebrated his 91st birthday on October 30th.
He was the “Dean of Preachers” in the capitol city, arriving in Jackson 60 years ago in July, 1962. The young pastor and his wife Mary Frances moved into the parsonage along with their two daughters Sherri Layne and Vonda Lynne. FPC of Jackson thrived under the leadership of Reverend Craft and his talented wife. Two successful building programs were completed during their tenure.
Reverend Craft was known for his vision and passion for worldwide missions. In 1975, he founded Jackson College of Ministries, a training institute for aspiring Christian leaders. Over a span of 30 years nearly 3,000 students were trained at JCM, many of whom are now serving with distinction around the world.
Pastor Thomas L. Craft was elevated to the office of bishop in recent years - a position of both honor and oversight. Bishop Craft was known for his Tender Loving Care and was affectionately called “TLC” by thousands of devoted admirers worldwide.
Celebration of life services are planned for this weekend, with a public visitation on Friday, November 4th from 5 pm to 9 pm. Funeral service will be Saturday, November 5th, beginning at 11 o’clock in the morning. Both the visitation and homegoing services will convene at First Pentecostal Church, 5000 I-55 South in Jackson, Mississippi. The interment will be immediately following the service at Lakewood Memorial Park. Rev. David Tipton will be presiding at the graveside service. All arrangements under the direction of Bill Chancellor and Chancellor Funeral Home.
Bishop Craft was preceded in death by his first wife Mary Frances Smith Craft. He is survived by his devoted wife of 19 years, Martha Dian and his two daughters Sherri Grisham and husband Mark of Houston,Texas and Vonda Craft of Nashville, Tennessee, stepsons Richie Allen and Andrew Allen and wife Kaley of Houston, Texas, sister Mary Hahn and husband Gary of Dallas, Texas and brother Amzy Craft and wife Judy of Biloxi, Mississipi. He leaves behind 11 adoring grandchildren and 8 beautiful great grandchildren.
At the family's request, in lieu of flowers, you may make donations to: T.L.Craft Memorial Bible School – Rosario, Argentina at the following link, https://igfn.us/form/fVa9Wg. You may also Text “Global Missions” to the number 41444, then tap the link you get and it is the first item in the drop down menu.