About Tom Salter

Tom has pastored churches for over 40 years. He is Interim Pastor at Life Pointe Church in Woodland. Tom is Founder/Executive Director of Barnabas Factor, a retreat ministry for pastors at Lake Tahoe; and founder of Barnabas Africa, dedicated to training under-resourced pastors in the developing world. To date, they have trained over 500 pastors in Africa.

Memories of Africa

I’m safely back in America now.  My own body-clock is just about readjusted.  But something of my heart is still in Africa.

Do you remember the older movie, “Chariots of Fire”?  Runner (future missionary) Eric Liddell says, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.”  Well, when I train poorly educated, disadvantaged African pastors, without resources, I feel the pleasure of God.  It’s what He told me to do, and I really felt His pleasure on this trip.

We were in the Eastern Province of Rwanda.  My fourth trip to that country—my first time in that province.  I think it’s safe to say, not too many white folks get out that way.  It’s more rugged, with more dirt roads heading off to (where?) than other areas.  My organization, Barnabas Africa, got connected to pastors in very remote spots.  In one of our seminars, we actually created the unity; we brought the pastors together for the first time.  We did three seminars, training a total of 150 pastors.  To get to our second site, we took a dirt road (in the rain, a MUD ROAD) for ten miles to a village.  It reminded me of some 4WD roads up in the Sierras!  Rugged!  The host pastor later told my representative, Pastor Dominic, that we were the first Muzungu Pastors (white pastors) to EVER visit his village!  We recorded several pastors in interviews, and one of them said it was the first training OF ANY KIND he had ever been to!  And remember, many of these pastors have the equivalent of a grammar school education.  We hit the basic subjects: Old and New Testaments (each book); Preaching, Unity, Counseling Traumatized People, Hermeneutics.  Each pastor received in their own Kinyarwandan language, an 85 page syllabus, with complete notes.  I found out that there is NO Bible Concordance in Kinyarwandan!  I hope to do something about that before next year.

When we are discontented, even discouraged, or worse—bored, I hope that we (as American pastors) will realize how blessed we are!  If you would like to consider training pastors in a developing country, hit me up.  I’d love to chat with you about it.


Tom Salter