Answering the Call to Pastoral Ministry
About Tanner Fox
Tanner Fox will begin as our Minister of Mission on June 19. Once he is examined and approved by the EPC Florida Presbytery, he will transition to the role of Associate Pastor of Mission on our church staff.
Tanner attended Samford University in Birmingham, AL and graduated with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Religion. From there he went on to pursue a Master’s in Divinity at Reformed Theological Seminary in Oviedo, FL.
For the last year Tanner has been under care of the Florida Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, with First Presbyterian Church of Orlando.
Tanner Fox is a Florida native, born and raised in Lakeland. He now resides in Orlando, FL with his wife of nearly four years, Ashley, and their dog Sam.
Tanner's Call to Ministry
Tanner initially felt the call to ministry at a very young age and has pursued a path of pastoral ministry ever since. He has worked in multiple youth programs at churches in Lakeland, FL, Trussville, AL, and spent the past four years as a high school coordinator with the Student Ministry here at First Pres.
His call to pastoral ministry undergirds his call to the position of Associate Pastor of Mission. Tanner went on his first mission trip to the Dominican Republic at the age of 13. Since then he has been on many more trips to places within the U.S., Guatemala and back to the Dominican Republic.
Tanner’s heart for mission is rooted in his heart and affection for the church. He describes his understanding and motivation for local and global mission as one born from a passion to pursue the Great Commission. “I believe that as followers of Christ, we are to go forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that Jesus commanded and that Christ will be with us as we go.”
He also sees mission as integrated into the larger discipleship of the church itself. “We must honor each aspect of the Great Commission. Not only are we to go and preach the gospel, but to establish systems in which they can be taught and nurtured in the faith through a healthy Christian community. Disciples are made by the local church and through many years of established relationship. I believe the hope of the world is the bride of Christ, the church.”
Next Steps with First Pres
“I’m eager to begin working with the many partners that First Pres has developed relationships with over the years, to see people cared for in our city,” Tanner shared, “and in the many different areas around the world where churches are being planted and partnered with unto the flourishing of the surrounding community.”
Tanner's call is also part of our church's vision for nurturing future pastors in ministry. “I could not be more excited about Tanner's call to First Presbyterian Church as our new Associate for Mission.” said Senior Pastor, Dr. David Swanson, “I firmly believe that our church must be raising up the next generation of pastoral leaders to serve in Christ's Church, and Tanner fits that perfectly. He is bright, talented, funny, personable and clearly called of God - not to mention he loves Jesus deeply. These qualities will make him an outstanding pastor in the EPC for years to come, and I look forward to helping him learn the practical skills necessary to do that.”
Quino Martinez, chair of the Associate Pastoral Nominating Committee, also gave his endorsement, saying, "The committee was pleased to consider Tanner Fox’s nomination, and after a deliberative process that included a lengthy interview, review of Tanner’s academic and ecumenical credentials and our prayerful consideration, we unanimously and enthusiastically recommend his nomination to the congregation. In Romans 8:28, Paul proclaims '[a]nd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.' Tanner has been called to ministry and has distinguished himself in his academic efforts and in his service to First Presbyterian and we are excited to bear witness to his further growth. "
Dr. Case Thorp, the church's current Senior Associate Pastor for Mission and Evangelism, will serve as mentor to Tanner in his new role. Dr. Thorp will serve as Senior Associate Pastor for Evangelism in order to fill out FPCO's evangelism strategies and take on a greater role with The Collaborative.
Please pray for Tanner and Ashley as they make this transition!