Tom Burton of Agape in Nashville Celebrates 30 Years!
NASHVILLE, TN–In June AGAPE Executive Director Tom Burton celebrated thirty years of serving children and families Middle Tennessee. Burton was hired by the Board of Directors in 1982 based on the recommendation of late founder Howard Justiss. After earning a Bachelor of Science from David Lipscomb College in 1968, Burton served in an artillery unit attached to the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. After being discharged, he earned a Master of Science in Social Work from The University of Tennessee in 1972. Prior to coming to work for AGAPE, he was the Assistant Director at Children’s Home of Lubbock in Lubbock, Texas. In addition to Burton’s thirty years with the agency, his wife Chris has been an integral part of the AGAPE staff for almost as long, working in the business office and overseeing the technology needs of the agency since 1984. Because of Burton’s dedicated and distinguished leadership, AGAPE has added seventeen affiliate counseling and social services offices across Middle Tennessee and has grown significantly through the support and partnership of numerous loyal financial donors. In addition to his work at AGAPE, Burton serves as an elder at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ; and is active and has served in leadership roles in Brentwood Noon Rotary and numerous local, regional, and national child and family services organizations including: the Tennessee Association for Childcare, the Christian Child and Family Services Association, the Christian Adoption Resource Exchange, The National Association of Social Workers, and the Child Welfare League of America. In 2010 he received the Mary Morris Award, presented annually by Lipscomb University in to someone who demonstrates a high level of service to the community and church and who exhibits vision in creating new avenues to expand Christian principles in unconventional ways. Statements Regarding Tom Burton’s Thirty Years with AGAPE“The past 30 years have validated our decision to bring Tom Burton to AGAPE beyond our most optimistic vision. He has built the agency that is now recognized as a leader and preferred source of assistance in both children’s services and family counseling. Thank you, Tom, for every life you have touched and made better because of your leadership.” James Vandiver—Former Board Member and Minister at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ“Tom Burton and AGAPE Nashville are synonymous. He has lead our organization in a way that other non-profits only dream of having leadership for. The number of people’s lives that have changed for the better thanks to Tom’s strategic leadership is unrivaled in this town. To him, we are eternally grateful. Tim Bewley2012 AGAPE Board Chairman “Mr. Burton has been an influence for good not only in AGAPE’s area of influence, but also throughout the State of Tennessee. His knowledge of child welfare has been very helpful to lawmakers in improving Tennessee’s laws for the welfare and protection of children. Senator Douglas Henry “The Nashville nonprofit sector has been blessed with a special number of caring, capable agency executives. These leaders have guided their organizations through the ups and downs of the business cycle, through the changing demography of Nashville, and through the many transitions of volunteer board leadership. Tom Burton has been one of the best; and we remain forever in his debt for the superb effort he has made and the difference he has created in our community.” Lewis LavinePresident of the Center for Nonprofit Management