By Katherine Rutherman
This story first appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Kentucky Wesleyan Magazine.
To view the full magazine, click here.
Shawn Tomes ’94 returned to his alma mater as director of campus ministries on July 1, 2016, after serving as area director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes since 2013. President Barton D. Darrell shares, “Shawn brings an incredible combination of faith, high energy and a long history of commitment to the personal spiritual growth of young people. He has vast experience in organizing and executing high level programming that will take our campus ministries’ activities to levels not seen before.”
Shawn was an art education major at Wesleyan and earned an M.A.E. degree in school counseling with a secondary emphasis from Western Kentucky University. He previously served as an art teacher, guidance counselor and assistant basketball coach at Apollo High School for eight years. He was also head basketball coach at McLean County High School from 2002-2004. He has served as a youth pastor and is a certified lay speaker in the United Methodist Church.
“I played football at Wesleyan my freshman year, but I was injured at the end of that season,” says Tomes. “When I learned I could no longer be a student-athlete, it was a low point in my life. I lost my identity. My sophomore year was tough and a time of transition for me. I did some soul searching.”
He later met his 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,” he remarks. “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.”
Shawn has officially entered candidacy to become a licensed pastor in the United Methodist Church. “He is grounded in a personal United Methodist/Wesleyan faith perspective, while also able to relate to persons of other faith perspectives,” shared Rev. Mark Gibbons, Owensboro District Superintendent of the United Methodist Church.
“My faith is my passion; young people are, too,” says Tomes. “I seek to bring the two together. I don’t want campus ministries to be a separate entity on our campus. I feel God leading campus ministries to serve and partner in every aspect of campus life. Campus ministries exists to serve, love and build relationships.”