Dr. Thomas F. Duff
Pastor Duff, as he preferred to be called, was a faithful soldier of the Cross. He was saved following his service as an electrician in the Navy in WWII. He was stationed aboard a destroyer attached to the USS Enterprise. He, along with the carrier group left Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on November 28, 1941. The Enterprise was still at sea when Pearl Harbor was attacked on the morning of December 7. The Enterprise returned to Pearl Harbor on the evening of December 7 to refuel and returned to the fight. Pastor Duff would often talk about the Grace of God that was shown to him, sparing his life from the attack. 2403 people lost their lives that day at Pearl Harbor, 2,008 Navy personnel, 109 Marines, 218 Army, and 68 civilians, 1,177 were from the USS Arizona. Had he been in port that day, he likely could have lost his life. God spared him, so that he might save him. After his discharge from the Navy, Pastor Duff moved back to Middletown, Ohio. He found work at a steel plant as an electrician. An industrial accident claimed the life of a co-worker and injured Pastor Duff severely. While in the hospital recovering from his injuries he was led to Christ by Dr. Howard Sears, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Middletown.
Brother Duff became an active member of the church and soon surrendered to preach the Gospel. He, along with his wife, Lillian, moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee to attend the Temple School of the Bible (part of Tennessee Temple College) to be trained for the ministry. While in school he was greatly influenced by Dr. Mark Cambron. He also was pastor of one of the “chapels” connected to Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga. In October of 1954 Pastor Duff accepted the call to become the senior pastor of the Troy Baptist Temple, in Troy, Ohio. That began a 33 year ministry at Troy Baptist Temple. In addition to the ministry as pastor, Brother Duff began a radio ministry in 1957 and a Television ministry in 1972. Both continued until shortly after he retired in 1987. During his ministry the Troy Baptist Temple grew to being a great lighthouse for the Gospel in the southern Ohio area. The church grew, with attendances reaching an all-time high of 998, a weekly average of 665 and bus ministry reaches 300 children weekly in 1973. During his ministry the auditorium was enlarged to seat 1,000, a bus garage and youth center with kitchen were built, the parking lot expanded, and many ministries were started.
Pastor Duff was known as a Bible preacher and teacher. His messages on prophecy and the second coming of Christ caused several generations of church members to continually pray, “Even so come, Lord Jesus!.” His clear, systematic teaching of the Bible helped the people of the Troy Baptist Temple become mature, grounded, and faithful Christians who knew what they believed and why. He retired from the pastorate on July 12, 1987 and continued preaching in conferences and revivals until his homegoing on April 20, 1993.
The following is a message by Pastor Duff. This message reveals his humble spirit, sincere heart and love for his people.
Pictured below is the famous "Hat Diagram" that Pastor Duff used as he taught us about the Second Coming of Christ. I will be forever indebted to him for his faithful, sound teaching of Bible doctrine. He was well known for having the words, "Even So Come Lord Jesus" in large letters mounted on the arch way above the pulpit. He was always looking for Jesus to come again!
Below is pictured the tract used by the Troy Baptist Temple during the 70's when I first started serving the Lord. The detail in the tract illustrates the wide impact Dr. Duff and the Troy Baptist Temple had in the area. Notice: Sunday School, Bus Ministry, Youth Ministry, television, radio, choir, and orchestra. There was a place for everyone to serve!