Pentecostal leader T.F. Tenney died on Friday, June 1. Tenney was a well-known United Pentecostal Church leader and the district bishop of Louisiana.
“I don’t have words to say what TFTenney has meant to me and cherise and our family. Today he went Home to be with Jesus. Jesus was the magnificent obsession of his life. To his dear wife Thetus, and his son Tommy and daughter Teri and many grandchildren our hearts and prayers are with you. He was a spiritual Giant to me and I will forever be grateful God put us together. Greatness is the only word I can think of to describe this man,” Franklin says in his post.
In 1952, Tenney was elected Louisiana District youth secretary. From 1952 until his death, almost without exception, Tenney held some position within the United Pentecostal Church International. The UPC Louisana district confirmed the news on its Facebook page.
“With heavy hearts, we share the news that our beloved Bishop TF Tenney has passed from this life to be forever with Jesus. Bishop Tenney has been a valiant and faithful soldier of the Lord, leading and serving this district, the UPCI and churches around the world. He will be greatly missed by all of us, but we rejoice with this mighty man of God as he has met his Savior. Please keep his wife, Sis. Thetus & their family in your prayers,” they said in their statement.
According to Focused Light, Tenney was born and raised in DeRidder, Louisiana. At the age of 15, in 1949, he began his ministry and at age 19 assumed his first pastorate in Monroe, Louisiana. He attended Apostolic Bible Institute. In 1992, he received an honorary doctorate from ABI.
From 1960-1976, he held several administrative positions. From 1976-78, he returned to DeRidder, Louisiana to serve as pastor of his home congregation. In 1978, he was elected District Superintendent (Bishop) for the state of Louisiana, charged with the oversight of approximately 300 churches and 800 ministers and pastors. He held this position for 27 years – until his recent retirement and re-launch into full-time mobile ministry.
He has been a radio speaker, both on a nationally broadcast radio program and a local daily program. He is a respected writer and regular contributor to various religious periodicals. He is the author of eleven books, to date: Pentecost–What’s That?, The Flame Still Burns, The Main Thing, Advice to Pastors and Other Saints, Beyond the Sunrise, Some Things I Wish I’d Known, Secret Sources of Power, More Power to You, and “The Lord Said…” Or Was That Me?, Things I Wish I Could Forget, and his most recent release, Water From An Old Well.
Tenney’s life was forever changed when, at 16, he sneaked into a Pentecostal church to hear a nun give her testimony:
He had never heard such preaching—and from a woman! It simply was not done that way in the Baptist church. Yet, feeling something he could not escape, he found himself back there the next night. He did not understand their doctrine. He did not understand their worship. He did not understand their lifestyle. But he could deny what he felt. The connection had been made. The Holy Spirit was drawing and before school started in the fall, Tom Fred Tenney was a new man in Christ.
Almost immediately he felt called into ministry and service. Opportunities were given for him to speak at youth rallies and fellowship meetings. Remembering those early days of his experience, he says, “I felt that you had to do whatever the Word said and whatever leadership told you to do.”
Apostolic Archives reports Tenney’s mentor and spiritual father was a great Christian, George L. Glass Sr., a man of prayer and of the Word. Consequently, Tenney made a commitment to prayer and to the Word. He promised the Lord he would pray for at least an hour and read three chapters of the Bible every day.
“Some nights I was up until two or three o’clock in the morning, keeping my vow-especially when I got to the 119th Psalm! It wasn’t just a cursory reading, but it was looking into the Scriptures, searching everything I could find on the subject. Things that God gave me then—when I was 16, 17, 18 years of age—are still with me today,” Tenney said.
According to a Facebook video, Tenney gave a prophetic word during a service on May 27.
“I hear it from the everlasting hills. The lightning of God is flashing from sky to sky,” Tenney said. ” I see its illumination. Then the voice that I hear is like none other, and it’s the voice of God. The things that God has told you shall come to pass. I know you’ve heard it before, but you’re going to hear it again: the greatest revival in the history of the church, a revival that’s going to affect this city, it’s going to affect this parish, it’s going to affect this state, it’s going to affect this nation, and you’re going to be a part of it, because it’s coming to pass to the glory of God. He’s made it wonderful. … There’s no other name in the heavens. … His name is [crowd shouts Jesus].”