Parson’s Porch & Company began in 1989 as an idea of its founder, David Russell Tullock. As a young pastor, he was a doctoral student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where two professors had great influence on the direction his ministry would take in the future. Two conversations, with two professors, in two different settings focused an idea he has since developed into Parson’s Porch.
While determining his research area for his D. Min. Project, Dr. David Garland, his major professor, suggested that he choose a topic that would be practical not only for a degree but also for a ministry for years to come. That suggestion led to a research project titled, “Training Lay Persons for a Grief Ministry at First Baptist Church of Rossville, Georgia.” Although he completed his degree in 1991, the paradigm of grief continued to be developed to include people’s emotional reactions to any trouble, including loss of innocence, jobs, loved ones, status, and especially those who are disenfranchised from society because of violence, poverty, disease or other life circumstances, including bad luck and poor choices.
At another time, while talking to Dr. Bill Leonard following the takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention, a number of his former students were opining about our future as Baptist pastors. He stated the obvious. “If you are going to survive as a Baptist pastor, you have two choices: “Change the theology and ethics for ministry to become a fundamentalist, or you must change your paradigm and keep your theology and ethics for ministry to keep your soul.”
Combining Dr. Garland’s direction with Dr. Leonard’s advice, he chose to keep his theology and ethics, thus to keep his soul. To quote Robert Frost, “It has made all the difference.”
Although the groundwork for Parson’s Porch was laid for 15 years, it was officially organized in 2004 as Parson’s Porch, Inc. and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization and registered as a corporation by the State of Tennessee. His Baptist conscience could not allow him to continue as a nonprofit, so in 2010, Parson's Porch suspended its 501 (c) 3 status and dissolved the corporation. We no longer solicit donations. or receive government support.
Today, Parson’s Porch & Company flourishes, serving a wide range of individuals in the surrounding village with innovative approaches and restorative solutions for people in trouble. We are subsidized by the profits from publishing books.
In 2010, and after 35 years as a minister, David retired from the pastorate. He now enjoys publishing and all it entails.