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Stidhams Mark 30 Years At Church Of Christ

on September 12, 2017 - 7:05am
Tim and Tanya Stidham are being honored Sept. 18 for 30 years of service to the Los Alamos Church of Christ. Courtesy photo


In 1987 Ronald Reagan was in his last year as President of the United States, the Minnesota Twins won the World Series, and a gallon of gasoline cost 89 cents. In August of that year, Timothy D. Stidham and his wife Tanya, moved with their four children to Los Alamos from Sherman, Texas. And so began what would be 30 years of service to the Los Alamos Church of Christ. Thirty years and counting…

The church will honor the Stidhams with a banquet Monday, Sept. 18 at Fuller Lodge. Besides the meal, present and former church members will share memories and the Stidham’s son Tony will present a commemorative slide show. In appreciation for their longtime service, the church also is sending the the Stidhams on a Caribbean cruise.

Tim began at the church as youth minister and served in that capacity for five years. In 1992 he became pulpit minister and has worked in that capacity ever since. Tanya has served as women’s minister since 2000. Their second son Tony is a youth minister for the church, a position he has held since August of 2011.

The couple met on Guam when their fathers were stationed there in the military. They have been married 43 years.

Since coming to Los Alamos, Tim has delivered 1,172 sermons, conducted Sunday evening classes called “The Table,” taught Sunday morning and Wednesday evening Bible classes, and led Wilderness Trek encampments and congregational rafting trips.

Tanya teaches women’s Bible classes and coordinates women’s activities, including the annual Women2Women community-wide mini-conference. Both are available for counseling sessions on subjects from Bible questions to personal problems.

Tim is known for his in-depth, thought-provoking lessons. Taught by his dad in the early growing-up years to seek the truth above all else, Tim works hard to do just that, even if doing so isn’t comfortable or popular. Consequently, his classes are in high demand: it’s standing room only at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Tim holds an A.A. degree from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn.; a B.S. from Harding University in Searcy, Ark.: and an M.A. degree from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He also has done work toward his doctorate at ACU.

Tim loves to play games of all sorts, from sports to tabletop, and don’t be surprised if he wins. One of his favorite sayings is, “If you’re old enough to play, you’re old enough to lose.” Kids who grew up in his youth groups fondly remember his special events: Crude Nights when they did “gross” activities, Class Nights when they dressed up and went to fancy restaurants, and Scream Nights when they celebrated the scariness of Halloween. He and Tony continue to plan themed senior banquets that send high school graduates off in grand style.

Teens also can easily quote another of Tim’s favorite sayings, “If it’s stupid, don’t do it.”

Tanya and church deacon Lyn Havel co-direct the congregation’s “Prayers and Squares” ministry, in which women make prayer quilts for people with various needs. Tanya is an expert seamstress.

Tanya loves Los Alamos, but she thinks the hardest thing about living in the wilds of New Mexico is being long distances from their families. Three of their parents are still living but approaching old age. Tim’s parents live in Kentucky, and Tanya’s mother in Oklahoma. Sons Tracy and Tony and daughter Tera, along with their families, live in Los Alamos. Daughter Tiffany lives in Roanoke, Texas, with her family. Tim and Tanya have 16 grandchildren.

“It’s hard to be so far from my mom and those grandbabies,” Tanya says; but she knows that she has been fortunate in getting three of her kids to move back here. The four children, Tracy, Tony, Tera and Tiffany were ages 10, 8, 5 and 3 when the family moved to Los Alamos. All four kids grew up here.

Tim thinks it takes “a loving congregation and a committed preacher” for a long-term relationship to flourish. “It’s a two-way street,” he said.

Church elder Gerry Wood agrees. “It speaks well for both the preacher and the congregation when they can maintain a positive relationship for so many years.”

The couple never considered how long they’d stay in Los Alamos. They moved here when the youth minister position at the church opened up because “we’d been told what a great place Los Alamos is” by colleagues in the Wilderness Trek ministry.

Thirty years later, Tim said, after returning from a recent trip, “When we drove in our driveway, I felt like this is my spot. This is home.”

“We always said we’d go where God wanted us to be and we’d stay until God wanted us someplace else," Tanya said. "God’s either forgotten about us or He still wants us here.”

The church thinks God has made the latter choice.