Meet Tom Couser
Thomas Donald Couser was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He is the oldest of four Couser kids. His dad was an accountant and his mother a stay at home mom. Tom has a lot of great memories of growing up in Motown in the fifties and sixties: Going to Tiger games, fishing in the Detroit River, racing in the Soap Box Derby and listening to WXYZ Radio.
Tom graduated from Lutheran High School East in Detroit. He had no plans after high school so he tried trade school but eventually took a job working as a church custodian. He started taking night classes at a local college and then transferred to Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois. His plan was to become a Lutheran school teacher. Upon graduation he was instead led into youth ministry. He served as a youth director at churches in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Downers Grove, and Dundee, Illinois and Dallas, Texas. Along the way Tom returned to his alma mater to earn a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis in school guidance in 1980. He was certified as a director of Christian education in 1985. He received certification by the State of Texas as a school counselor in 1999.
Tom was very active in the Lutheran Education Association as a member of TEAM, the department for directors of Christian education. Tom served a three year term on the board, including two years as president. He continued to serve LEA during the ensuing years as both an editor and consultant. He currently serves on the PEN (Parish Educators Network) leadership team.
Tom began doing free-lance writing for Concordia Publishing House (CPH) in 1979. He was involved in a variety of projects including confirmation textbooks, Sunday school curriculum and various youth Bible study books. Tom’s book Real Men Pray was published by CPH in 1996. During this time he was also a partner in Parish Ministries Resources, an independent publishing venture. PMR produced resource materials for Christian educators, including the journal Insights into Christian Education. Tom served PMR as both president and editor.
In 1996 Tom accepted a call to be teacher/school counselor at Lutheran High School of Dallas (Dallas Lutheran School). Over time Tom expanded the counseling ministry at the school working with students experiencing personal, behavioral or academic issues.
He instituted a peer mediation program, equipping students to resolve conflicts within the student body. While at LHS he also taught A. P. psychology and religion. On an extra-curricular level Tom coached basketball, including two years as varsity boys coach. Tom retired from full-time ministry in 2007.
While in college Tom met Barbara Brown. They were married on June 14, 1969 in St. Louis. Barb is a gifted musician and educator. She has taught at the grade school and preschool level. She has served as director of music at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Dundee, Illinois, Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Dallas, and Crown of Life Lutheran Church in Colleyville, Texas. Tom and Barb have been blessed with three children. Peter is on the pastoral staff at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Worth, Texas where he oversees their multi-site ministry, The Summit in Aledo. Peter is married to Amy, and they have three sons. Mark serves as pastor at The Tree of Life Lutheran Church in Garland, Texas. Tom and Barb’s daughter, Katie Seale, is married to John. They have a son. Katie is director of worship and the arts at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Carrollton, Texas.
Tom and Barb reside in Dallas, Texas. Tom and Barb are members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Carrollton, where Tom teaches the new member class and sings with the vocal ensemble. In addition to his free-lance writing and speaking, he is involved in a hospital visitation ministry through Community Chaplain Services, Inc. He is also a volunteer ambassador at DFW International Airport.
In his free time Tom enjoys reading, with his favorite authors being John Grisham and Philip Yancy. He also enjoys playing golf, following major league baseball, TCU football and the NASCAR circuit.