About Thomas Ryder Worth

Thomas Worth has been a minister of the Gospel for over forty years. He grew up in a God-fearing family, but had no personal experience of the Savior until his late teens. Through the witness of his best friend and the influence of the Presence of God over a two- or three-year period, he underwent a marked conversion, infilling of the Spirit, and surrender to Christ. In the early 1970s, he received his grounding in the Scriptures and in the Spirit at Pinecrest Bible Training Center in upstate New York, where he also met and married the love of his life, Marsha. Around 1980, he experienced a further work of conversion where Christ’s work on the cross became the gravitational center of his thought, devotion, and ministry. The Person of Jesus has been a major theme with him ever since.

For over thirty years, he taught many Bible subjects at Pinecrest/Bethany on a full-time and adjunct basis. He was campus and community pastor there from 1983 to 1993. Over the years, he has taught in short-term missions to Jamaica, Peru, England, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Czech Republic. Since 1991, he has made mission trips almost every year to Bulgaria where he teaches in the churches there. He and Marsha have two daughters who are married and who have supplied them with five precious grandchildren. He holds the M. Div. from Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY. He earned his D. Min. from the same, where he developed material on how the Psalms can be a school for prayer. Since 1996, he has been serving as the pastor of Community Covenant Church in Manlius, NY.

Worth has a narrative/poetic style of preaching and teaching. Although he has mainly ministered in Charismatic/Pentecostal circles, he has a classic message which fits well in many different churches. He has preached and taught in many venues, from Baptist to Anglican, home groups to conventions, prisons to homes for the elderly, street missions to seminary—always seeking to point people to Christ.

From the Introduction…

I have been a pastor for over thirty years and a Bible teacher for almost forty. I have done mission work for over thirty years as well. But I have been a poet of the Incarnation the longest—forty-four years. For as long as Marsha and I have been married, I have written a Christmas poem almost every year. At other times of the year I have also pondered the Incarnation poetically. At Christmastime we would send a poem to our friends and family. The Mother & Child on the front is from a sketch Marsha prepared for a Christmas card we designed over forty years ago. This first collection comes as close as anything I have ever written to representing the heart and soul of what is meaningful to me.

Out of those forty-some odd poems I’ve written, I have selected twenty-five for this collection. You may think of it as a poetic Advent Calendar, with a poem for each day in December leading up to Christmas. That’s about the right pace to take these in. Some will be quite short; others will be longer; but all will require some time for meditation.

May the Lord bless you as you make your way through my reflections on the Coming of our Lord Jesus.

About the Artist

Tom Worth got to know Petrana Petsova over the course of his many mission trips to Silistra, Bulgaria. Petrana graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Sofia in1979, while the country was deep in the grip of Communism. Even though she was forbidden to paint Christian or biblical subjects, she persevered and endured harassment and persecution. The authorities confiscated and destroyed her paintings. She came upon a novel way to hide them from the police. Because she kept bees in her back garden, she was able to hide her Christian paintings in her beehives. She could slide a frame of honeycomb out and slide a painting into the same slot. The bees kept watch over her work and she did not lose any more after that.

Her home has become a picture gallery where her paintings line the walls and even the ceiling. She is quite elderly but vigorous, and she still paints for the glory of God and the love of the subject.