Pastor Tom Croft (Orson J. Croft, Jr.) 73 years old. Tom was born August 19, 1946 in Jacksonville, FL and went home to be with the Lord on December 13, 2019 in Gainesville, FL after a long battle with Leukemia.
Tom served in the United States Army with the rank of sergeant during the Vietnam War era. He pastored MorningStar Family Church in Middleburg, FL for the past 26 years after retiring from BellSouth Corporation.
Almost every child that has grown up at MorningStar called Tom their “Papaw.” He taught most of them to play guitar, keyboard, or drums and even how to drive a car.
He was a chaplain with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Chaplain and Committeeman on the Clay County Republican Executive Committee for over 25 years. He was President Emeritus of North Florida Theological Seminary where he was instrumental in helping equip saints from all denominational backgrounds for the ministry.
He was a wonderful son, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather known by his love for Jesus, his family and his love for others.
He was preceded in death by his father, Orson J. Croft, Sr.; his mother, Gem Parks Croft; and his son, Thomas Grant Croft.
Tom is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Sylvia Croft; daughters, Angela Polder (Trevor), Mary Rizzo (Alan), and Venus Valliere (Matthew); 27 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren, and Alix and Oslene Compere and their six children, his spiritual son, daughter, and grandchildren in the Lord.
A funeral will be held Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. following a 10:30 a.m. visitation, both at Russell Baptist Church, 2299 Sandridge Road, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043.
Services entrusted to Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home, 529 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park, FL 32073, (904) 264-1233.
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