Tom Barila

Director of Discipleship and Christian Education; Chief IT Officer  

Contact: 804-282-4645 x117 | email

Describe your primary responsibilities at Third:

I love people and am responsible for the adult spiritual formation of folks at Third. I endeavor to accomplish this calling by building teams of folks to "equip the saints for the work of ministry." You'll see this mostly in our Men's ministry, Sunday morning Bible fellowship classes, Sports Camp, workshops, trips to Israel, and throughout the week in mentoring relationships and other initiatives. 

What are your favorite books?

I love God's "text messages" so the Bible is my daily "go to" book.   I'm also thankful for our "modern " genre of thinkers  like Tim Keller, Dallas Willard, Patrick Morley, and Chuck Colson but also saints of the past. I also try and read articles and books when they've been recommended to me by 3 or more people.  I think that's God's way of saying you need this!

What is your favorite thing about Richmond?

RVA folks are fun to be around. I like staying active so I really appreciate the James River for kayaking and fishing. I also play lots of USTA tennis and pickup basketball at UR. I also appreciate the various outdoor festivals  such as the Folk festival, Riverrock, etc. and the richness of our communities and various activities in Southside, West End, Northside, and East End.  

Tell us about your family:

Our adult children - Tommy and Catherine - both live in Washington, DC.  Tommy is a business guy and Catherine is a trauma RN. My wife, Elizabeth teaches 2nd grade at Tuckahoe Elementary. Look for the JMU 4X license plate. We all went to JMU and love the Dukes!

Why are you excited to be a part of Third Church?

I've always appreciated and love the people of Third. That's what drew us to Third in '93 (long before I joined the staff). I believe folks at Third genuinely want to deepen their faith and trust in God and want to make a difference in RVA and beyond for God's purposes. You can also count on thoughtful and winsome biblical teaching coupled with humility and application. Our elders, deacons, and trustees are so dedicated and thoughtful. I'm excited to be on the team at Third and hope that everyone finds their place to belong and respond to Jesus's invitation to follow him - there is nothing better!