Meet Shawn Tomes ’94: New Director of Campus Ministries

Hometown: Morgantown, Ky.

Education: B.A. from Kentucky Wesleyan in art education, P-12 certificate in art education
M.A.E. from Western Kentucky University in school counseling with secondary emphasis

Family: Wife, Marcia, is an educator at Southern Oaks Elementary School
Daughter, Kenzie, is a senior at Apollo High School
Son, Isaiah, is a seventh grader at College View Middle School

Shawn TomesPlease share memories of your experiences as a student at Wesleyan.

“I attended summer athletic camps at Wesleyan when I was growing up, so I was familiar with the campus and familiar with the college’s excellent reputation in academics and athletics. I was very excited to receive an art scholarship and have the opportunity to play football.

But I was injured at the end of my freshman year of football and knew I would never play football or basketball again. I have to say that when I learned I could no longer be a student-athlete, it was a low point in my life. I lost my identity. Participating in athletics was everything to me at that point in my life.

My sophomore year was tough – really tough – and a time of transition for me.  I did some soul searching.  Later, I met my future wife and became a part of her church family. That body of believers loved me right where I was, and they loved me unconditionally. I had the opportunity to see those Christian men be open and honest and allow themselves to be vulnerable.

I began to learn, from the fellowship in the church and through Bible study, what it meant to be a man of God.”

As you return to campus 22 years after you graduated, what is on your mind?

“I’m thinking about what it means to offer private, faith-based education and how important it is for students to experience a culture with a Christian foundation and purpose and provide an opportunity for them to participate and respond.

I have to emphasize that as Christians, we are called to be His disciples . . . His hands and feet – and to be encouragers; to share His truth and expectations for us, as opposed to saying, ‘This is what’s wrong with you.’”

What are your immediate goals when you arrive on campus?

“Pray and then pray some more! I plan to build a prayer team made up of prayer warriors who will commit to pray for campus ministries and our College regularly; build a leadership board for campus ministries; and build a student leadership team. I’m going to work hard to build partnerships in the community and in the region, and we will do a needs-based survey of students, staff and faculty.

I am going to seek Him with everything I have. I want to build relationships of eternal value.

But I want to make clear that none of this is about me; it is about seeking God’s plan for us, and I can’t do that alone. I need a team of people right there with me.

God knows where he wants us to go. We must seek Him and follow Him to get there.”

Please tell our readers about your career path.

“My faith is my passion; young people are, too. I seek to bring the two together. I’ve been area director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes since 2013. I was an art teacher, guidance counselor and assistant basketball coach at Apollo High School for eight years. I was head basketball coach at McLean County High School from 2002 – 2004. I’ve also served in youth ministry at Island United Methodist Church, and I am a certified lay speaker in the United Methodist Church.

What is an ideal Saturday afternoon?

“Spending time with my family, or maybe mowing! I really love to mow!”


“I am an artist, and I love to create. It is my dream to someday have an art studio (21 Design) up and running. I like to take something old and repurpose it. We are almost finished renovating a building in Island that now houses four businesses.”

Who would you like to sit down with and spend some time in conversation?

“Definitely Billy Graham. He is humble, and he transcends politics, even though he has been a friend to many presidents and other politicians. He is absolutely above reproach. He has always delivered God’s message of truth in such a loving way.

My all-time favorite quote is something Billy Graham said:

‘It is God’s job to judge,

it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict,

and it is my job to love.’


Thank you, Shawn. We wish you well as you lead campus ministries. Welcome back!