Tom Bauder Retires. Again. Really.

March 30, 2012

Pastor Tom Bauder

WAKEFIELD, Mich.—Pastor Tom Bauder is retiring again, “after having flunked retirement several times previously,” he told the local paper. He and his wife, Dolores, have served five years at Calvary Baptist Church, located on the far west side of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The Bauders arrived during Wakefield’s lean years—the White Pine Mine had closed in 1995, and the local sawmill a few years later—but as the community lost residents, the small church grew. During the Bauders’ ministry, the congregation doubled in attendance and made significant improvements to their property.

“Calvary has been the most fantastic congregation that I’ve served in over 40 years of ministry,” Bauder said in a newspaper interview. “It’s going to be difficult to leave.”

The Bauders grew up in Michgan’s Saginaw Bay area. Tom gave up a management job, enrolled at Faith Baptist Bible College, and then spent the next 40 years in ministry. In addition to the Wakefield church, the Bauders ministered at Ankeny Baptist, Ankeny, Iowa; Faith Baptist, Cambridge, Iowa; Calvary Baptist, Webster City, Iowa; Union Grove Baptist, Union Grove, Wis.; Open Bible Baptist, Orange City, Fla.; First Baptist, Oshkosh, Wis.; and Faith Baptist, Park Falls, Wis.

“When I was 13, my father left his management position with a major airline to go to Bible college so he could enter pastoral ministry,” recalls Tom and Dolores’s son, Kevin Bauder, research professor of systematic theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. “Through my teen years I had a ringside seat to watch my parents live out their devotion to the Lord. Many of my peers were complaining that their parents were hypocrites, but I could see the vitality of my parents’ devotion as they lived by faith. I saw them live the kind of life that many people only talk about.”

The Bauders have moved to Sun Lake, Ariz., retiring near their daughters.

Calvary Baptist has called Michael Riley as its new pastor. Pastor Riley is completing his dissertation for a PhD at Westminster Theological Seminary. He was also recently appointed as adjunct professor of Biblical interpretation at Northland International University, where he will teach online courses beginning this summer. Michael and his wife, Alicia, have one daughter.