This is the testimony of Pastor Tom Langhofer. Tom is a dear friend and the Pastor of Recovery Ministry at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Today, he has a new life full of peace. It wasn’t always that way. I thank Tom for sharing the story of his life so openly.
The Turmoil Behind the Scenes
Tom says, “On the surface it appeared I had it all together. I was General Manager of a large real estate company. Additionally, I was chairman of economic development for two suburban cities in Johnson County, on a bank board, and married to a great lady. My two wonderful kids were excelling in high school. Though a leader in my church, I was mixing a quart of vodka a day with Ambien, Xanax and Klonopin. Anxiety filled me, as well as anger at God, resentment, guilt, shame, and remorse. My drinking started from the time I woke up until I went to bed. During church, work, bank, and city meetings, I was under the influence. I even drank when I was at the gym. My life was a complete mess.
Then, 9 years ago, I woke up, and realized I was drinking myself to death. I couldn’t believe it, because I really did have everything I needed in life. I was angry at God and figured he was angry at me but I still had the courage to say a simple prayer to Him…God please help me. I give up. I need you. If you help me get better, I will serve you for the rest of my life. That seemed to be all I could ask of God at that point. I didn’t think I was worthy of his help, but thought, “It can’t hurt.”
Jesus Brought Peace Into My Life
Surrendering to Jesus that morning, my spiritual mentor led me to someone in my church who was a member of AA. I went to my first meeting that week and became a regular in the halls of AA. And, I went to my church and confessed to the pastors there about my addiction. The church welcomed me in their arms and helped me refocus my life with Jesus. Two weeks into my recovery I had a spiritual awakening and heard God tell me He wanted me to help those in addiction to also find recovery through Jesus Christ.
I quickly became involved in AA and our church helping those who were struggling. Additionally, I became involved in an organization called the Healing House and started the Alpha program on Friday nights. Alpha helps people learn more about Jesus and how He can save us from our addictions. We started with 50 people and now have 200 attending regularly on Friday nights. I also started a men’s recovery meeting at Healing House that now has 80 people in attendance each Tuesday evening. I ultimately left my 30 year career in real estate, became a pastor and now lead the recovery ministry as Pastor of Recovery Ministry at Church of the Resurrection.
Jesus Made Me Brand New
Jesus Christ saved my life by accepting me unconditionally into His arms and showered me with His grace and mercy. I surrendered to Him and He totally took my guilt and shame and made me a new person. I believed that I had been forgiven and could have a new life full of peace, love and purpose.”
An additional note about Tom and his faith:
In the summer of 2019, his beautiful daughter Erin and her boyfriend were at an open-air event in Kansas City. Not far from them, some young men got into a fight. One pulled a gun and fired wildly. The bullet hit Erin and she died that night. She was a precious person, in her twenties, with all her life ahead of her, one who worked with abused women.
Tom and his wife Marcy and Erin’s sister were all crushed with grief as were the members of their extended family and so many people who know and love this great family.
Though his heart was broken, Tom soon leaned on the arm of God and went back almost immediately to doing his recovery meetings and pastoral work. It has been amazing to watch what people can come through if they give all of themselves to Jesus and are filled with the presence of the Spirit of Christ. Tom has been an extraordinary example of living through crushing grief openly, with vulnerability, and yet with power from God to keep taking care of others.