Tom Elliff
Oklahoma City, OK

After pastoring for forty-two years, Tom Elliff served the International Mission Board, first as Senior Vice President for Spiritual Nurture and Church Relations from 2005-2009, then as President from 2011-2014. Tom served pastorates in Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma and as an IMB missionary in Zimbabwe. Tom also served as president of the SBC Pastor's Conference and two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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Jeannie is Home! Hallelujah!

By on July 21, 2015

On an earlier FB post, I wrote a bit about Jeannie’s homegoing. In that posting I mentioned that a full obituary would be found on this site. I married a wonderful and Godly lady.

                                                                           Jeannine Kaufman Elliff

                                                                      April 23, 1946 ~ July 20, 2015

Jeannine Thomas Elliff died at age 69, in Oklahoma City, OK, in her beloved home that has been “home” to so many others. In the days prior to her death she was surrounded by her family members who celebrate her passing into eternity with her Savior, Jesus. Jeannine Kaufman Thomas was born in Burbank, California, on April 23, 1946, to Ray and Alberta Thomas. At the age of five, Jeannie’s family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. Jeannie graduated from Little Rock Hall High School, and subsequently attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where she and Tom Elliff fell in love. They were wed on August 20, 1966, and promptly began their journey together in Christian ministry. That journey included three college and seminary churches (Martindale in Little Rock, AR, Vickery in Dallas, TX, and First Baptist in Mansfield, TX), three post-seminary churches (Eastwood, Tulsa, OK, Applewood, Denver, CO, and First Southern Baptist Church, Del City, OK). They served an additional nine years with the International Mission Board, first as a missionaries in Zimbabwe, Africa, and ultimately in Richmond, VA, where her husband served as president. Jeannie loved being a wife, mother and grandmother. She was at once gracious, listening, gentle, strong, spunky, and totally devoted to her Lord, His Word, her husband, and her family. Together Jeannie and Tom toiled for the Gospel, as companions, servants and lovers. Jeannie was quick to remind people that there was a vast difference between being merely “religious,” and being genuinely born again. This testimony was born out of her own experience of serving faithfully in church and even being a pastor’s wife for five years before truly repenting and turning in faith to Christ alone for her salvation. Jeannie accepted her task of mothering as a holy stewardship. She prayed for her children, listened to them, and taught them. She filled the house with music and worship. She loved to sing praises to Jesus. She became, as the children grew, a dear and constant friend to each of them. Being a grandmother was one of the greatest joys in Jeannie’s life! She kept in touch with each of her grandchildren, sending birthday gifts, writing letters, and following them through social media. She was a Godly presence in their lives, spurring them on in their faith, and praying for them earnestly and carefully every day. Being at Grandmother’s house was pure comfort for her grandchildren. Being with Grandmother was a respite. Jeannie served her family and her friends quietly and tirelessly. Being a low-drama, balanced, steady individual, it is not surprising that God entrusted her with many Gospel adventures all over the world, along with her husband and family. For over thirty-seven years Jeannie studied the Word and taught others to do the same using the approach shared through Precept Upon Precept Ministries. Walking in grace and humility, Jeannie was intimately connected with hundreds — perhaps thousands—of missionaries and believers all over the globe. She prayed for them and leaves behind a precious legacy of prayer. Jeannie never tried to be great. She sought to make Jesus great, and to encourage others in their service to Jesus. She was “sensible” as Titus 2 encourages women to be, often laying down lesser pursuits to help others for the sake of the Gospel. She valued what God valued and became in the eyes of so many others…great! Jeannie loved to remind her children and her friends of God’s all-encompassing presence in the lives of His children, found in Psalm 139:5 and Deuteronomy 33:27: “You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me…and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Now, she is with God, experiencing the fulfillment of His promises, His arms, and His love, in a clearer more tangible way. Jeannie Elliff loved well…and is loved forever!

Jeannie was preceded in death by her:

Parents. Ray and Alberta Thomas

She leaves many cherished memories with her loving:

Husband of nearly 50 years, Tom Elliff;

Children: Emily Elizabeth Cox and her husband Tony; Amy Camille Jarboe and her husband David; Sarah Jane Mann and her husband Greg; Jonathan Thomas Elliff and his wife Rebecca;

Sister, Jane Jacobsen and her husband Paul;

25 Grandchildren and 1 Great Grandson.

We are grateful for all our family and friends who have encouraged us during this time. And we are especially grateful for our loving First Southern church family, and for Dr. Charles Hollen and the staff at Cancer Specialists of Oklahoma for their investment of over nine years of loving care. Most of all, however, we are grateful to our Lord Jesus whose love is never failing.

Memorial Services will be conducted at First Southern Baptist Church, 6400 S. Sooner Rd., Oklahoma City. OK., 11am, Friday, July 24, 2015.

Memorial gifts may be designated to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, First Southern Baptist Church, Oklahoma City Oklahoma

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  • zoe_randy

    We love you Bro Tom and are so thankful that we had the privilege of knowing and loving Jeannie. God changed our lives because you guys said yes and came to Eastwood. Thank you both for letting the world see Jesus and having their lives changed forever. We are praying for you all. Much love! Randy & Zoe Ann Whitley

  • Elaine Kerr

    Your years at Eastwood were life changing – for over 40 years your ministry there has given me a testimony of what salvation, worship, service and unconditional love really means.  Jeannie was the sweetest, most joyful pastors wife I have ever had the privilege of calling friend. Her life truly is to be celebrated and joy in sadness is knowing she is in the loving arms of our God. You and Jeannie and your beautiful children are in my thoughts more than you would ever imagine and my heart overflows with love for the time and people at Eastwood Baptist Church who like me were blessed beyond measure because of your faithfulness.    I join all who are praying for and loving the Elliff family.
    Elaine Russell Kerr

  • RitaJP

    Brother Tom, I am celebrating Jeannie’s life with you and your family, but also, at the same time, grieving your/our tremendous loss.  Heaven gained another angel another angel this week. Just know that she is sitting at Jesus’ feet, worshipping and praising His NAME, the Name above all names!!

  • Ken Varner

    Tom, my heart mourns for you but rejoices for Jeannie. God’s grace and comfort will sustain you in the days ahead until you are privileged to join her. We celebrate a life well lived through the power of Jesus in her life.

  • Judy Gerry

    Dave and I met you and Jeannie when you were pastoring at Applewood Baptist Church in Denver back in l984.  We had only been visiting the church for a few weeks when our daughter became very ill.  We will never forget how you dropped your work, your very full schedule, and came to visit us in the hospital during that week – praying over our daughter and for our family.  Jeannie introduced me to Precepts Bible studies during those years and our family grew deeply in the holy Word of God under your leadership.  The church was large and you may not even remember us – but we remember you.  We thank God for your marriage, your family, your ministry and for your faithfulness to finish well.  I am looking forward to getting to know Jeannie well in the future.  Jesus is coming soon.  May the Lord comfort you all during this time apart.

  • cburtonkenya

    Tom and family, We are praying for you and wish we were able to be at Jeannie’s memorial service.  Jeannie’s life will continue to speak to many.  She had a love of God’s word, a love for people and especially for you and for her children and grandchildren.  Her joy in sharing about the Lord was so evident and she truly had a worldwide impact.  We will miss her.  With love and prayers, Connie and Lynn Burton

  • SteveGrose

    Brother Tom and all the family, our love and gratitude for a life well lived, thankful for y’all, from Australia. Steve and Lorelle and the gulls

  • ahbcsrpas

    Tom and Family.
    You and Jeannie have served our Lord well through the years.  Since your days at Eastwood when we met, you have exemplified spiritual passion, extended grace, an evangelistic heart for the lost, a caring spirit, a deep commitment to His Word, and many more outstanding qualities.  As a pastor, I know that God selects the BEST partners for us in marriage.  As you have stated so well, Jeannie’s ministry touched so many utilizing her giftedness.  Her and Margaret’s spiritual journey followed similar paths as Margaret also became a “true believer receiving Jesus’ salvation” after being a pastor’s wife for many years.  After years of struggle, she settled the issue forever during Bailey’s crusade in Broken Arrow many years ago.  We pray that Jesus will meet every need which you experience in the days ahead according to His promise.  May our Lord strengthen and fill you daily.
    Bob and Margaret Green

  • billhenwood

    Brother Tom, we celebrate Jeannie’s “homegoing” with you, and we continue to lift you and your family in our daily prayers. 
    Bill & Sheila Henwood

  • ddavis9581

    Tom,
    Praying for comfort for you and your family. Celebrating the testimonies of Jeannie’s life and your lives lived in submission to the King. He is honored through the life and death of Jeannie Elliff. Rich grace is prayed for you…
    D. Ray and Kim