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The Tom Hunstad Award for Excellence in Children, Youth and Family Ministry



Past "Tommy" Award Recipients:

 2001

 Dr. Roland Martinson

 2002

 Rev. Daryl Koenig

 2003

 Rev. Kelly Chatman

 2004

 Rev. Mike Yaconelli

 2005

 Rev. Jane Prestbye

 2006

 Rev. Bill Kees

 2007

 Susan Pursch

 2008

 Faye Belskey

 2009

 David Scherer;"Agape"

 2010

 Rev. Dr. Dick Hardel 

 2011

 Bishop Paul Blom

 2012

 Search Institute

 2013

 Lisa Jeffries

 2014

 Peggy Hahn

 2015

 Lost and Found

 2016

 Heidi Hagstrom

 2017

 Rev. Dennis "Tiger" McLuen

 2018

 Rev. Yehiel Curry

 2019

 Rev. Larry Wagner

 2020

 Deacon Kathy Hunstad

 2021

 Rev. Tuhina Rasche

The Story...


When the Network was started, there were many all over the country who were an important part of making it happen. There was energy, excitement and enthusiasm. But it was Tom, who was serving as the chairperson of the first task force, and then the first president of the Network, who emotionally carried the Network on his shoulders, calling people together, casting a wide vision, and making it happen. 

Tom was a youth minister, serving in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and then a pastor, serving at Olivet Lutheran in Fargo, North Dakota and then at Westwood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Tom was diagnosed early in 2000 with an aggressive form of cancer. After a short, but courageous battle with the disease, Tom died just before Thanksgiving of that year. He is survived by his wife, Lynn and his 2 children, along with many family members, many friends, and this Network.

To honor Tom, the Network Board created an award, the Tom Hunstad Award for Excellence in Youth and Family Ministry. The award is given annually, by the Network. It is not a “youth minister of the year” award…there are no nominations made.* Rather it is an honor, bestowed on someone by the Network through its board. We select someone that we want to honor and to thank for their service. It is the highest award given in the field of youth and family ministry…as far as we know, it is also the only award given in the field of youth and family ministry.

The 2021 Tommy Award Presentation



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