Visitation: Saturday, May 23, 4-6 p.m., Thompson’s Harveson & Cole Funeral Home, 702 8th Ave. Fort Worth.
Funeral: Sunday, May 24, 5 p.m., Arborlawn United Methodist Church, 5001 Briarhaven Road, Fort Worth. Former members of Tom’s Chapel Choirs from churches he served, dating back to his days in a youth choir in 1965, have been invited to perform.
Tom Stoker, 1953-2015
Tom Stoker, president of SRG Creative Solutions, an advertising agency that provides branding, production and consulting services, died Sunday, May 10. Stoker suffered from metastatic uveal melanoma, a cancer of the eye that spread.
Since 2005, he also served minister of worship arts at Arborlawn United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, directing the 130-member Chancel Choir and overseeing the Concerts at Arborlawn, a series of performances serving the community. He also worked closely with the architects, designers and church leaders to plan the new $12.5 million sanctuary. It seats about 1,300 and was dedicated in 2011. He also oversaw the design and installation of the 106-rank Garland Pipe Organ in the sanctuary.
Thomas Melvin Stoker was born in Abilene, on July 14, 1953, to Melvin and Bonnie Stoker. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and a master’s degree in church music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.
Stoker, an ordained Baptist minister, started his music ministry while in college, leading the choir at Green Valley Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating, he went to the First Baptist Church in Columbiana, Alabama, serving as minister of music for nine years. While he attended seminary at Southwestern Baptist in 1982, he led the choir at Colonial Baptist Church in Dallas. He moved to Fort Worth’s Broadway Baptist Church in 1983, and served as minister of music there until 1998. During that time, he oversaw the design and installation of the 191-rank $2.5 million Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn Organ (Casavant Opus 3750). He also directed the internationally recognized five-day dedication of the organ, which attracted more than 5,000 attendees.
With the patronage of Van Cliburn, the internationally acclaimed pianist who was also a member of Broadway Baptist, Stoker developed The Broadway Series, a 12-concert annual series for cultural outreach. He also established and conducted The Orchestra at Broadway, an 86-piece professional orchestra. Stoker later conducted the music at Cliburn’s funeral in 2013.
Stoker’s choirs traveled extensively in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland and Wales. In the spring of 1990, Stoker guest conducted Schola Cantorum of Texas, Texas Boys Choir, Fort Worth Symphony Brass, and Dallas Symphony Brass in a Cliburn Series concert, “The Glory of Gabrieli.” This event marked the first concert appearances featuring members of the Dallas and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras performing together.
From 1998-2005, Stoker worked as interim minister of music at two churches: Spring Creek Baptist Church in Oklahoma City and Westcliff United Methodist Church in Fort Worth.
Stoker created Stoker Resources Group in 1999. (It was rebranded as SRG Creative Solutions in 2014.) Under Tom’s leadership, the firm has served community groups, performing arts groups, faith groups, businesses and educational institutions. Clients have included Casavant Frères (St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada); Cousin’s Barbeque (Fort Worth); Bruner Auto Group; the Fort Worth Business Press; Overall Kids Music, Inc. (Nashville); Cook Children’s Health Care System (Fort Worth); Performing Arts Fort Worth/Bass Performance Hall; Safe City Fort Worth; Leadership Fort Worth; Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.; the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History; Presbyterian Church USA (Louisville); Union Gospel Mission (Fort Worth); Schola Cantorum of Texas (Fort Worth); The Vocal Majority Chorus (Dallas); Masters of Harmony (Los Angeles); Texas Wind Symphony (Fort Worth); Trinity River Vision Authority (Fort Worth); First Baptist Church (Denver); First Presbyterian Church (Tyler); First United Methodist Church (Hurst); Westcliff United Methodist Church (Fort Worth); First Baptist Church (Abilene); First United Methodist Church (Midland, Texas); Broadway Baptist Church (Fort Worth), and Arborlawn United Methodist Church (Fort Worth). He has served on the board of directors of the Van Cliburn Foundation; Guardianship Services, Inc.; Schola Cantorum of Texas; the Children’s Choir of Fort Worth; and the Texas Boys Choir.
Stoker was married to Pam Stoker in 1974. Pam retired as assistant director of TCU’s Neeley School of Business Graduate Career Service Center in 2014. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, Chas, and his daughter, Stephanie Hicks; her husband, Elliott; and her children, Ash and Zoe Fulkerson, all of Fort Worth. He is also survived by his sister, Susan Stanton, and her husband, Ken, of Temple.