Tom Demitry: SpiritDomes
By Audra Smith
The 700 Club
“At a young age, my father became ill with schizophrenia.”
Growing up, Tom lived with chaos.
Tom Demitry describes his early years. “My dad was one of those hoarders you hear about. Talk about embarrassment. His yard became stacked full of junk - washers, dryers, cars and tires.”
“When you would go in the house, it was the same disaster. Just stuff piled right up to the ceiling. I’m talking to the extreme – mentally ill.”
Tom’s mother could not cope with her husband’s mental illness so she took her three sons and moved to the projects.
For years, the family lived in extreme poverty. By the time he was a teenager, Tom became financially independent. Before he was out of high school, he started working for one of the largest hat companies in the world.
“I gave my heart and soul to that company. I started there when I was 15. I always worked that job. I started sweeping floors, cleaning toilets, and cutting grass – those kinds of things. I was living on my own in an apartment with a friend, paying my own bills, and I was on my own for good at the age of 17.”
His life took a turn. “With all that freedom, I started partying. A lot of drinking, a lot of drinking. I got into drugs. So, between booze and drugs and girls, I was running rabid. It was disgusting.”
Tom married at the age of 25 and had three daughters. But his family took a backseat to his career. His hard work earned him a promotion to national sales manager of his company.
“I became wealthy. I was a millionaire for a time. I traveled the world. I was on the road 2 ½ to 3 weeks a month. I frequented the finest restaurants and the finest nightclubs. I was idolizing everything. I was self-centered. I always worried about me. I wasn’t faithful.”
In 2000, Tom was on a business trip when he received a call that his brother had a massive heart attack. Just days later, he died at just 40 years old.
Even after his death, Tom’s brother influenced Tom’s life. “I was really close to him. All of those years, he loved God. He went to church. He read the Bible. He was so trying to get me to Jesus. I wanted nothing to do with it. I would say, ‘Pete just cool it, just stop with all of that.’ He loved God. He never gave up his faith.”
One year after his brother’s death, Tom lost his job and most of his money in the stock market. In the same year, his wife filed for a divorce.
The losses took a toll. “I was in deep, deep depression. I lost a job. I lost tons of my wealth to a tune of over a million dollars. I lost valuable, valuable time with my kids. I lost everything.”
One day, shortly after his divorce, Tom thought about the words his brother had always spoken to him. Tom decided to take a walk near his favorite lake.
“I didn’t know where my life was going, so I was just saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ I was just crying out, ‘Help!’”
“I remember looking down at that water. It was real calm and kind of dark. I just said to myself, ‘Man, if I just slithered down in that water, it would be a lot more peaceful. Because I’m at my wits end Lord.’ All that sin got me to such a low place, I had to surrender to Him.”
“I woke up in the morning and I felt a little better. I grabbed a Bible and I opened it to Proverbs, and it got me going!”
After reading the Bible, Tom decided to attend a local church.
About being in church, Tom says, “That’s when my life started to turn around. It was about a month after that, I was in church and I went up to the altar and I got saved. Nowadays, I give Him all the glory. I can’t wake up in the morning without prayer and some Word to get through another day.”
“My life is coming full circle after the disastrous past I’ve had. Thanks to Jesus, I’m peaceful and happy and free. I’ve been forgiven. I love God. I love Jesus. I love what He’s done for me in my life and I’m out to glorify Him.”
“A lot of you out there are going through stuff, I’ve been through it all…and I’m saved, and I’m free, and you could be too. There’s no doubt. There’s no doubt.”
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