Pastor Thomas Rusert first set out with his “Free Prayer” sign in July 2015. He set up in a remote booth at the Panera in Doylestown, PA and after a couple of hours shaking nervously in his booth with his nose in a book nobody stopped for prayer.
Emboldened by the fact that he was neither scolded nor kicked out, he set out again. This time he sat where he could be seen, wore his clergy collar, lifted his nose out of his book and people began stopping. They have continued to do so on every outing.
At first there was one sign, one pastor praying, going out once a week. One year later the Free Prayer Team has distributed over 300 handmade signs to equip pastors and ministry leaders across the United States and globe.
In addition to offering “Free Prayer” Pastor Rusert has served as pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Doylestown, PA since 2012. He received a B.A. in religion from St. Olaf College in 2006, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2010 and a Master of Sacred Theology from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.
He and his wife Abigail, a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), live in Buckingham, PA, with their daughters Dorothy and Solveig and their Vizsla, Summit. Pastor Rusert enjoys taking his daughters for hikes with the dog on his day off and then cooking a nice meal for the family while sipping a glass of wine or a pale ale and listening to music.
Want to learn more about how the ministry began? Read about Free Prayer in the news!
If you’d like to contact Thomas, CLICK HERE.