They don’t come any better

Image from the N.C. Baptist Foundation, which Tom served as a trustee.

Image from the N.C. Baptist Foundation, which Tom served as a trustee.

When Tom Dimmock died suddenly this week, it was more than a shock: the world seemed a little dimmer. At just 65, Tom had accomplished more than most of us could do in three longer lifetimes. He was a terrific family man who doted on his wife, children, and grandchildren. He was a successful attorney who truly cared about his clients. He was an committed churchman who, along with his wife Boyd, helped to make Trinity Baptist in Raleigh the strong and vibrant fellowship that it is. He was a community advocate, especially through his leadership roles in the Kiwanis club and volunteer/mission efforts both locally and globally.

I first met Tom in 1983, when he was still a young lawyer. Through the years I turned to him more than once for assistance, and he was always helpful. I was part of his Sunday School class at Trinity for a while, and he was unfailingly prepared and encouraging. Like everyone else, I enjoyed watching how much he enjoyed singing in the choir.

Tom was a long-time supporter of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and during the most contentious years of conflict in the convention, he and fellow lawyer Skip Stam served as co-parliamentarians, proving that progressive and conservative folk could work together if they put their minds to it.

Anyone who knew Tom could go on and on about his family devotion, professional accomplishments, and church or charitable activities, but beneath all of that, Tom was a great soul with a great love for both God and others. The world may seem a little dimmer without him, but the light he inspired in others will shine on for many years to come.

Thanks be to God.


  1. Tom Dimmock gave himself away to others, to Boyd and his family, his church, his community, and to his Lord. He ran hard all the way to the finish line, he finished well. Tom lived his faith in Christ. Tom jubilantly and infectiously sang of his faith in Christ. He was a Pastor’s and a Minister of Music’s best supporter and confidant. Tom read between the lines and moved immediately to the core of the need and opportunity at hand. He then went about doing something about it. Tom inspired us all. John 10:10 is a beautiful picture of Tom’s life experience. ” I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”.

  2. When I got that call this week, the one that begins with a gentle warning that bad news is coming in the next breath, I was not ready for the person named as the victim to be Tom Dimmock. In recent weeks I had been in his company twice. Both in ministry settings he had long supported, Raleigh Baptist Association and Habitat for Humanity. Tom served the RBA as a Trustee for many years and also taught numerous moderators how to be more effective in applying Robert’s Rules of Order along with common sense Christian principles. He was a model of how law and grace can be virtues that co-exist in one person without tipping the scales of justice and fairness to far in one direction or the other. He had just assumed a major role with our RBA “Baptist Build” project with Habitat as a lay leader from Trinity BC. In that last meeting his passion for helping the less fortunate was evident and his willingness to lead profound. I will miss his wise counsel and genuine love for His Lord. Also, he never stopped smiling even in the most serious of discussions. I believe it was the joy of the Lord surfacing in his spirit no matter the circumstances. Thanks be to God for Tom’s life and faithful witness as a husband, father, grandfather and brother in Christ.

  3. It has been my joy to be his pastor and friend for these past 15 years. Tom lived fully in each moment more than anyone I have ever known. His passion and love for Trinity Baptist Church was without measure. His optimism which was based on his faith in a God who is loving, good and generous was contagious. He trusted God and he lived a life of faith in response to God. The loss we feel is great but his legacy will spur us on to be the congregation God calls us to be. Please pray for us as we celebrate Tom’s life and give care to his family and many friends.

  4. I have never know anyone quite Tom Dimmock. He is everything that people have said about him and more. I first met him in 1983 when he was the closing attorney on the house my wife and I purchased. Right after the closing was completed, he invited me to come to his house the next Sunday for a Sunday School party. From that time on, we were good friends. Our families socialized together, worshipped together, and spent many hours at each others’ home. Tom Dimmock was a very positive force in my life, and I owe much to him and his wonderful family. He will be missed!

  5. For me, when I look at Tom Dimmock I can see God’s image. An image who treasures people. An image who is patient with human frailty, yet impatient with human need. An image called to action and not simply observation. While I know Tom is human and likely had his down times, I only saw him as joyous. Even when frustrated, he was always appreciative of God’s gifts and opportunities for growth and action. Tom calls us to always be joyous, do something, and smile!!! As one of his daughters mentioned last night, Tom is not in “that box”. While the vessel of his body may be, Tom is much more than just the vessel that carried his essence – he is the image of God. He leaves much happiness, love, and a better world. I hope to grow in this legacy of Tom – in the image of God!

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