CLEVELAND, Tenn. (BNc) — Getting kicked out of the house of a woman he met over the Internet was the best thing that had ever happened to Tom Leffler.

From there he went to the Cleveland Emergency Shelter.

While at the shelter, he received food and an invitation from a local congregation’s ministry.

“This one gentleman named Sam Carico invited me to East Side Church of Christ,” Tom said. “I started attending and felt this was where I needed to be and on July 17, I was baptized. It has been going great ever since.”

Every other Monday night, the East Side congregation prepares supper for the residents of the shelter, located just down the street from the church building.

The Cleveland Daily Banner ran Tom’s story Sept. 15 and highlighted the work of the shelter.

BNc asked Jeff Archey, preacher with the East Side congregation, about Tom.

“I met Tom the first time at our mid-week Bible Study,” Jeff said. “He was very gracious and friendly and began attending faithfully. After his obedience to the gospel, he has always been a willing servant.”

“He refreshed our tract racks and keeps them refilled. His vision of helping others less fortunate is exceptional. When he was staying at the Economy Inn, he would share food with others and invite them to worship. He used our House to House/Heart to Heart publication by leaving them in the lobby and at the laundromat where he washed his clothes. This Laundromat is in a Hispanic area which prompted Tom to ask about the House to House Hispanic version. He seeks out good works and is willing to help any way possible. He is well loved, appreciated and is a blessing to our work and family at East Side,” Jeff said.

The newspaper article noted that Tom now works as a custodian at the local high school and lives in a nice apartment.



  1. This story thrills my heart! This just shows what a caring spirit can accomplish when reaching out toward others. Let us all take a lesson from this and look for ways to further God’s truth. Be aware when God opens these doors for us.

  2. I want to thank everyone for sharing my story on here I am trying to do what is right by gods eyes and I have this caring about people if they do have something to eat I will be glad to give u something if I can I feel that this is what god wants us to do and also if they need a job we need to point them in the right places if we can thanks again and god bless everyone

  3. thank you I just want to help in anyway I can not looking for anything but just to help and may bring people to Christ. I am going to go back and try to help with the people at the shelter and to them my story to maybe to get them to see where I was at when I need Christ in my life

  4. I am also going to go to preachering school in Chattanooga and there are 36 classes and they are 13 weeks long so please pray for me to make though this I was in sp-ed when I was in high school so it has been a long time for me to go back to school I am going to try to take 3 class on Monday nite when we have are classes thank you very much again for running my story and I hope u all had a great holiday and happy new year thanks again