Tom Elliff, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) International Mission Board (IMB), married Diana Barber on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, June 2. The wedding was performed by their six sons and sons-in-law. Both Elliff and Barber were married nearly 50 years each to spouses who now reside in heaven.
Barber’s husband, Wayne Barber, was pastor of Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., and served as the lead men’s teacher for Precept Ministries International. Wayne died on August 29, 2016.
Elliff’s wife, Jeannine Thomas Elliff, died on July 20, 2015, after a long struggle with cancer. She served as Elliff’s consummate helpmate in his roles as pastor in Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma; missionary in Zimbabwe; senior vice president and then president of IMB; president of the SBC Pastor’s Conference; and two terms as president of the SBC.
Elliff stated, “Jeannie and I first met Diana and Wayne over dinner 33 years ago in Salzburg, Austria. Though our paths crossed only occasionally in the ensuing years, last December, God brought [Diana and me] together through a remarkable set of events only He could have orchestrated.”
The Elliffs will reside in Oklahoma City and minister through their local church and Living in the Word, but for an undetermined period of time, they will also be in Conroe, Texas, where Elliff is currently interim pastor of Mims Baptist Church. Together, the Elliffs share six children, 33 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, living and ministering in Oklahoma, Alabama, New Mexico, Texas, and Hawaii.