Tom Keefer

Tom Keefer

“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” (Matthew 7:26)

The foundation was shaky. The walls were crumbling. The beams and structure: rotted. No, I’m not talking about my house, but the foundation of my soul. I grew up in Chicago, had a closet for a bedroom and wore the same Chicago Bulls jersey to school every day.  It made me the target of bullies. My mother was bi-polar and my father was abusive. It was the perfect recipe for a depressing childhood.

I tried to escape it all by moving out and getting a construction job. Construction was an escape from the abuse and pain I endured at home.

After my wife, Mandy, and I started having children, we began to have marital problems. A Christian friend of mine in the construction business invited us over for dinner and shared with us the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

Shortly after that dinner, I moved my family to Florida for another construction job. The money was pouring in, but I was working 80 hours a week, growing more arrogant by the day and tragically turning into my dad. While I was busy working, Mandy discovered MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and heard the call of the Holy Spirit to radically transform her life. I saw the change in her and decided to commit the rest of my life to Christ.

That’s when I heard about Columbia International University. Mandy and I visited the school and knew we wanted to make CIU our new home. Today I am passionate about church planting and reaching others for Christ. I’m not sure where God will place me. But one thing is for sure; CIU has made an impact on me and my family and has helped me reconstruct my life for God’s glory. Laying a new foundation for my life could not have happened without CIU.

“He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” (Luke 6:48)

Download a printable version of this Impact story here.

Read more Impact stories here.

Tell us your Impact story here!


CIU Preview Days

This graduate of Columbia International University is like 17,000 other alumni around the world making an impact every day. If you want an undergraduate, graduate or seminary education that equips you to make a real difference, we need to meet.