Tom & Ruth Denlinger

Tom is the Co-Founder & Ministry Director of LightShine Ministries

In 1988, the vision of starting LightShine started in a small Bible study of a half dozen young Christian musicians. Tom met Jeff Zimmerman in 1990 and together they began laying the foundation that has become what LightShine is today. You can read more about the beginnings of this ministry on our “History of LightShine” page.

Today as Ministry Director for LightShine Ministries, Tom’s job requires him to support all the leaders of LightShine Ministries and cast vision for further ministry expansion. His desire is to see the ministry hold fast to the foundational principles that have defined the ministry from its beginning. Building up leaders that are committed to the mission statement and its scriptural policies is very important to him. Please pray for Tom as he seeks the LORD continually for wisdom and His divine strategy for LightShine’s future. Thank you so much.

If you would like to meet with Tom to have him further explain the long range plans for LightShine or answer any questions, please email him at: Tom is also available to speak at your church, event or small group. He has a passion for exciting people to embrace the calling that God has on their lives and share personal stories how God has taught him to stay focused over the last three decades of personal ministry.

Please click on this link below to support Tom in doing his job for LightShine Ministries.

Thank you so much!

Our Family

Tom & Ruth met at Philadelphia College of Bible (now Cairn University) in 1983 and were married in 1985. Ruth works as a personal care attendant working with individuals with developmental disabilities. She has been there since 2008. They are excited that their young adult children are discovering God’s specific plans for their lives.


Their oldest, Alex (second to the left) is a worship drummer working in several different local churches in Lancaster County. He is also on the leadership board of “The Well Downtown” which is a gathering of over 150 young adults that come together on a regular basis for worship and Bible teaching in the Elizabethtown, PA area.

Please pray for Alex as he is seeking the LORD for achieving new goals in the coming year. Pray wisdom and favor over him. He desires to be used even more by God in the coming days.

Ryan (to the left) works full time as an international Bible speaker for Youth With A Mission (YWAM) specifically in power evangelism. He speaks at YWAM Bible schools all over the world. He has taught in countries including Japan, Sweden, Australia, Holland, several countries in Africa and throughout America. His particular interest is Japan and has been developing a ministry there called Empowering: Japan that trains people in street evangelism like Jesus taught His disciples.

Pray for Ryan as he develops these international ministries. Pray that the LORD leads others to him that have similar callings. Pray for protection over him as he travels many miles – often alone.

Chloe completed her 2nd year of training with YWAM in Colorado Springs in January. Two years ago she completed her first Discipleship Training School (DTS) at the Arvada Campus in Denver. She has a keen interest in personality types and has studied extensively on the subject. This second phase of Bible school had an emphasis on counseling. She is living in Colorado and is seeking direction from the LORD for what is next.

Pray that God establishes her and connects her to the right people as she seeks to connect her interests to help others.

Tom’s wife, Ruth works as a personal care attendant and has been faithfully supporting Tom since the beginning of LightShine Ministries. She is an amazing wife and mother. Tom and Ruth are thankful for three amazing young adult children that one the LORD.

Tom’s Ministry Responsibilities

The growth of LightShine is an example of God’s faithfulness to the vision He gave Tom as a young man. In the 90s and into the 2000s, Tom led individual teams and worked primarily in the Copper Center area helping to establish Strelna Lake Wilderness Bible Camp. Over the years he met many different people in Alaska and established different ministry relationships throughout the state.  In 2008 he started encouraging others to lead teams. Tom is thankful that he was mentored by men and women of God in his past who taught him the discipline of persistent faithfulness in God’s calling on his life (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Meeting with ministry leaders at Globe Creek Camp north of Fairbanks

There is a lot of work that happens behind the scenes at LightShine Ministries.  Many of our workers are volunteers. But those who work solely for LightShine must raise financial support because our ministry does not generate a profit that can be used for paying salaries. Since our paid staff do not work full time at other jobs, they have to individually raise financial support from men and women in the local church who have been gifted in making money for the purpose of sending missionaries throughout the world.

Speaking at Copper Center Community Chapel in 2012

In 2017, we were able to purchase our first property in Alaska that will be used as our missionary base for years to come. With this new growth, Tom’s responsibilities have increased exponentially. Tom is a visionary leader desiring to build LightShine so that other men and women can discover and walk in their own calling before God (Ephesians 2:10). Leadership development takes time and resources to achieve mature disciples of Jesus Christ. All of your financial support given to the Denlingers goes to Tom’s salary so he can operate in his role as Ministry Director.

“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,”  2 Corinthians 9:10 NKJV

Please click on this link below to support Tom in doing his job for LightShine Ministries.

Thank you so much!

Here is an archive for the Denlinger Family prayer letters over the past few years:

2013: SeptemberDecember

2014: MarchMayDecember

2015: FebruaryJuneJulyDecember

2016: FebruaryMayDecember

2017: FebruaryJulyAugustOctober

2018: AprilJuneJulyOctoberDecember

2019: MarchMay – AugustOctober

2020: JanuaryFebruary/March – April/May – JuneJulyAug/Sept – Oct/NovDecember