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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‘New Life’ Film Draws Inspiration From Jeannie Elliff

By on November 3, 2016

Probably the greatest personal inspiration behind the character of Ava was a woman named Jeannie Elliff…

I watched Jeannie walk through multiple battles with cancer with a grace, sense of humor, and strength that I can’t muster even on my best days. With her husband Tom by her side, they represented so much of what I wanted to demonstrate in Ben and Ava’s story. They were a couple completely, madly in love and dedicated to each other. They were a couple who’s faith could move mountains and whose spirit in the midst of their storm made them all the more beautiful to behold. Heartbreakingly, but perhaps fittingly, Jeannie Elliff went to be with Jesus on the very night that we shot the scene you see portrayed above – the scene where, with her husband’s help, Ava embraces her diagnosis with strength and grace. It was an emotional day that I will never forget. Now you can read all about her story through her husband Tom’s beautiful book “The Unwanted Gift”. I pray it is a source of healing and inspiration for anyone who is struggling with an unwanted gift in their own lives. Tom Elliff is one of my favorite writers and I guarantee you cannot walk away from this book unchanged or without hope…

Much Love,

Erin Bethea