The Simmons family came to Lake Valley in early 2011. Our kids were just starting junior high and they needed a place where they could find community and a place where we could grow in our faith together as a family. I remember knowing we were in the right place when we attended our first Ash Wednesday service. I was so moved by the service itself, but looked over and saw our kids surrounded by others their age also being challenged in a deep manner.
Fast forward to 2019. I continue to work as a CPA and managing partner of Simmons & Associates. My wife, Amy, serves in children’s ministry at Lake Valley. We are now empty nesters and will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this summer. Our son, Austin, will graduate from Harding University in December and plans to attend law school in the fall of 2020. Our daughter Abby is a senior at the University of Arkansas and will graduate in May of 2020, with plans to attend occupational therapy school.
I was both honored and humbled when asked almost a year ago if I would be interested in serving Lake Valley as an elder. During that time, I have spent a significant amount of time praying over this decision. I Timothy 3:1 says “This is a trustworthy saying: ‘If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires a honorable position.’” However it continues by saying, “his life must be above reproach”. Serving Lake Valley as an elder is something I take very seriously. To say that my life could be considered anywhere close to “above reproach” is more than a stretch. I am challenged every day by my weaknesses, just like all of us. However, it’s only by His grace that I can grow to overcome them. I do feel God has called me to serve Lake Valley as an elder. I ask for your continued prayers during this process; prayers for wisdom for both the current elders and the prospective ones. I believe God has many plans for His family here at Lake Valley, and we need leaders who will seek Him and be bold enough to lead us through the doors He opens. – TOM ED SIMMONS