The Legacy of Tom Lopac

By Daniel Bobinski

The word of God says that faith without works is dead. If that’s the case, Tom Lopac was very much alive. That is, until this past Friday evening, when God took him home. Tom was a good friend of mine, but one of Tom’s closest friends was Matt Stanley. Matt and I spent some time on the phone the other night.

“What struck me most about Tom was his profound generosity,” reflected Matt. “Tom would give people the shirt off his back, even it was 20 degrees outside. If Tom saw a need, he would reach out to meet it.”

Matt was spot on. That was the Tom I knew.

The world has no shortage of strong, solid Christian believers going home to be with the Lord, but with Tom being a good friend, and with his extremely sudden and unexpected passing due to a heart attack, I felt it necessary to pause and acknowledge the impact Tom made on so many people’s lives.

Matt agreed about the impact Tom made. “Words are great and they are needed,” he said, “but love leads with action, and Tom was an action man. People respond when you love people with your actions – when you’re meeting people’s needs in a practical way. Tom did that. He lived life with people. He loved them the way Christ did. And it gave him a platform for sharing Christ because he modeled it first.”

“Tom would buy people a meal if they needed it,” Matt continued. “He would stop and listen to people’s problems. He would cry with them. If they needed work, he would hire them to work for his company. He would let people stay at his house until they got their feet under them. He sincerely cared about people.”

“Tom Lopac was the most like Jesus out of everyone I’ve ever known.”

Matt Stanley

Always Doing, Always Praying

As someone who met Tom while attending a small fellowship, I will back up everything Matt Stanley is saying. Tom was always helping people. For example, Tom recently learned a friend’s daughter needed money to go on a mission trip. What did Tom do? He held a garage sale, raised over $1,400, and gave all the money to his friend’s daughter.

When he learned that people needed help around their house, he would often loan them the tools they needed or even come over and devote his own time to helping them. I know, because I was among the recipients of Tom’s generosity on many occasions.

When Tom learned someone had an illness, he was eager to pray for that person – and often saw people get healed on the spot. He also had a knack for finding new believers who needed discipling and helping them develop accountability for getting into the Word of God.

Living the Gospel

Originally from the Milwaukee area, Tom Lopac came to Idaho’s Treasure Valley as a children’s minister for an Assemblies of God church. He did that for six years in the 1990s, then took a pastorate in Minnesota, but several years later he moved back to Boise, where his wife was raised. Then, after several years of working as a window washer, Tom started his own business, Picture Perfect Window Cleaning, in 2007.

Yet Tom’s passion for sharing the gospel never wavered. He regularly hosted Bible studies in his home, and the first Thursday of each month Tom was down at the Boise Rescue Mission, sharing the gospel and praying with people.

Matt Stanley was in his early 20s when God worked in his life to soften his heart toward people in need. But then Matt met Tom. “It was transformational,” Matt said. “Tom was like, ‘We are going, and we expect God to move. We’re available.” And God did move. “When Tom taught at the Rescue Mission, there were words of knowledge given and people got healed.”

“I remember the first time Tom asked me to cover for him. Employees at the Rescue Mission told me residents were always asking, ‘Where is that Tom guy? When is he coming back to the chapel?’”

Matt says it was amazing. “When Tom did chapel, he exercised authority. It was like night and day from other times I had been there. Tom brought a tangible difference. He had the fire of the Holy Spirit. There was LIFE!”

What was different? “It was Tom,” Matt says. “He brought a vibrancy. It was Tom’s faith. And that carried over into everything Tom did.”

Leaving the Fingerprint of God

Tom was born in 1965 but he looked MUCH younger. In fact, he looked and acted like the picture of perfect health, so his sudden passing has been quite the shock to those of us who knew him. Since his passing, his Facebook page has been filling with stories of how he touched people’s lives. Stories about mission trips. Stories about canning fruit in his backyard or him hosting bar-b-ques. Stories of hosting worship events. Stories of how he touched people’s lives as a children’s minister. Stories about the puppet shows that he and his wife gave (Tom’s wife, Marie, passed several years ago after a long bout with cancer). Stories about how Tom helped people in their times of need.

One commenter said, “Tom and Marie were two people who poured into so many other people. I think most of us have no idea.”

I agree. Tom Lopac was a man who poured himself out for Jesus, and Jesus kept refilling him so that he could keep pouring.

I will miss my friend. I stopped by his house and spoke with him on Thursday, and we spoke on the phone Friday afternoon. Then, on Friday evening, God took him home. I pray that with his passing, Tom’s example will serve as motivation for everyone – me included – to give more of ourselves for the cause of Christ.

As Tom’s good friend Matt Stanley said, “People will do nice things for others once in a while, but Tom did them all the time. What really stuck out was his consistency. Every opportunity Tom could find to serve people, he would do it. He was always encouraging people. He did it all the time.”

On earth, Tom Lopac lived from 1965 to 2024. But he left the fingerprints of God in many places – and those fingerprints will last forever.

For those who knew Tom Lopac, a memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, June 21 at Vineyard Boise, 4950 N Bradley St. in Garden City. 

 

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