Thetus Tenney was born on December 22, 1934. She has been involved in ministry for many years, starting in her early teens organizing a children’s backyard Bible club, conducting vacation Bible schools, and teaching Sunday school.
Sister Tenney enjoys hobbies of entertaining, decorating, and gardening when she has some spare time—which has not been often as her life has been, and still is, full and active. She has been involved in writing, speaking, organizing and starting programs and ministries, as well as being part of church, national, and international programs and activities.
Sister Tenney has authored several books and co-authored How to Chase God While Chasing Kids. Her book, Prayer Takes Wings, has been republished and translated into Spanish. She has written for several journals, study letters for women, and various publications. She was a regular contributor to Spirit Led Women and served as a member of that magazine’s advisory board. She founded and served as international coordinator of the World Network of Prayer for many years.
Sister Tenney served a four-year term on the Louisiana State Board of Education, as well as the Governor’s Commission on Women. She coordinated the Advocacy Network for Righteousness and was executive board member of Citizens for Good Government. She’s been involved in many national activities: White House Conference on Families, program chairman for Prayer Gatherings in Washington, DC, and on the board of directors for Healing of the Nation. She was on the executive board of International Women in Leadership and was presented with its 1988 award for outstanding leadership.
Thetus was married to Tom Fred Tenney on December 27, 1952. He was nineteen; she was eighteen. The newlyweds began pastoring a church in Louisiana. As time passed, the Tenneys traveled extensively, conducting leadership conferences, and teaching and preaching at home and abroad. Sister Tenney stood alongside her husband when he served the United Pentecostal Church International as director of youth and then director of Foreign Missions.
The Tenneys were blessed with two children: daughter Teri Spears, who serves with her husband in an itinerant ministry; and son, Tommy, author of The God Chasers and several other titles, who is also a traveling minister. They have five grandchildren, two grandchildren-in-law, and ten great-grandchildren.
The influence of Sister Tenney’s life has not be limited to the North American continent. She has been involved in numerous international activities. She conducted a children’s crusade in Sofia, Bulgaria, with twenty thousand in attendance and distributed ten thousand pictorial New Testaments for children in that country. Also, in Bulgaria, she was invited by the Orthodox Church leaders to meet with and discuss Christian education. She conducted a conference on Christian Ethics for businesswomen and was interviewed by media in Bulgaria to discuss education with a Christian perspective. She has traveled to all major continents and islands on her over one hundred trips abroad.
The North American continent has been recipient of the wisdom and leadership expertise of Thetus Tenney over many decades and in varied events: conferences, radio talk shows, press conferences, and seminars. She has ministered to children, single adults, women, and pastoral families. She has founded, directed, and sponsored ministries.
Following her husband’s death in June 2018, Sister Tenney resumed traveling, teaching, and speaking as well as serving on the staff in her local church and ministering to various ages of Sunday school classes. A few years ago, she formed a group of young girls who gather for “Pray and Play,” a time when she teaches practical life skills (like sewing on buttons and meal preparation) while also sharing the Word with them. She has spent her life pouring into others, both young and old, at home and abroad—for almost seven decades!
We give honor to Thetus Tenney for a life lived intentionally and unselfishly. Her legacy, her influence, and her passion for prayer and the Word of God will never die!