Parson’s Porch & Company was begun 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, namely the “steepled” church, 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 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. It is governed by a board of directors, and all donations are tax deductible.
In 2010, while serving as pastor of a church, he retired from serving as a traditional pastor to serve as a subversive pastor without the confines of a hierarchical church.
To pay for the overhead of the charity, Parson’s Porch & Company owns a publishing company with 13 publishing imprints, 65 authors and 116 books on the market to purchase online at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and your favorite bookstore. Profits from publishing support the many initiatives and projects of the company.
Today, Parson’s Porch is a flourishing nonprofit, serving a wide range of individuals in the surrounding village with innovative approaches and restorative solutions to people in trouble. We are subsidized by the generous donations of individuals and businesses in Cleveland, Tennessee, and the profits from The Publishing Group of Parson’s Porch.