First Baptist Church Naples | Naples, Florida

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Tom Rider

photoTom accepted the Lord as his personal Savior at the young age of four. He is very thankful for the privilege of being raised by godly parents who loved and encouraged him in this decision.  As a seventh grader, he attended a youth rally and God clearly called him to surrender his life and career to him. After a time of sincere prayer he said: “Yes,” to whatever God wanted him to do.

As Tom moved to high school, he was influenced by several teachers and his high school principal. He began to develop an interest and love for the educational process. As a senior, he felt a clear leading of God to prepare to serve Him in Christian schools, a movement that was still very new and in great need of teachers.

He enrolled in Sauk Valley Junior College just twelve miles from his home, as an Elementary Education major. It was during that time, that Tom met Nancy Mayberry while working together in the kitchen of a local hospital. After inviting her to attend my church, she accepted Christ as her Savior and a special relationship began. Then, he transferred to Bob Jones University and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education in 1975. Nancy and Tom were married that August and he accepted a teaching position at Arlington Baptist School in Baltimore, Maryland. They served the Lord together there for 28 years and were blessed with two wonderful daughters, Jennifer and Jessica, who both graduated from this school. While at Arlington, Tom also earned his Masters Degree in Educational Administration and served as a teacher, Transportation Director, Vice Principal, Principal and for twelve years as the Senior Administrator.

In 2003,Tom accepted God’s call to serve as the School Administrator for First Baptist Academy, a K-8 school at the time. Since that time the School has been blessed by God to include a  high school. It is the heart of our Headmaster to always give God the glory for the great things He has done!

Tom’s ministry and life verses are:

“Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will act.” (Psalm 37:4-5)