Tom was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. During the fall of 1975, he migrated to Phoenix, Arizona and he began a successful career in the intensely competitive commercial real estate industry. That career was interrupted on March 6, 1980 when God extended His saving grace and mercy to Tom and led him in a completely different direction. Under the mentorship of Larry Wright, Tom began teaching weekly Bible studies designed to reach men and women in the business community.
In 1991, Tom launched Priority Living of Arizona and at the same time began East Valley Bible Church. For over two and half decades, Tom pastored East Valley Bible Church which eventually grew into nine congregations throughout Arizona under the Redemption Church umbrella. During this time, Tom continued teaching at Priority Living while also traveling the country speaking to a wide range of audiences, including professional athletes, business people, couples, singles, college and high school students, and men’s groups.
His teaching is biblically-grounded and presented with genuineness and practicality. Tom’s heart for teaching is to help others learn God’s truths and live biblically-changed lives.
Until his passing in January, 2019, Tom resided in Gilbert, Arizona with his wife Sandy.
Sharon has been with Priority Living since 1992 and handles the office, accounting, and website for PL. She is a native Arizonan, has two adult children, and is enjoying her new role as “grandma”. Sharon recently completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Management and volunteers in a women’s support group and a local 12-step group.
Board of Directors
Sandy and Tom were married for seven years before Tom was promoted to heaven in January 2019. Their blended family includes three adult daughters, two sons-in-law and eight grandchildren and all are active in the faith community in Phoenix. God saved Sandy in 2003 while living in her home town, St. Louis, Missouri. In 2007, Sandy moved to the Phoenix area and Sandy worked with the Arizona State University Foundation, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and the Wrigley School of Sustainability to raise funds, increase collaborations and engage community members and alumni in the New American University vision. Sandy attended East Valley Bible Church and has served in many ministries at Redemption and in the Phoenix community. Currently, Sandy works for Fuller Seminary and commutes to their campus in Pasadena, CA as well as serves Fuller alumni, donors and churches throughout Arizona and Colorado. Sandy attends Redemption Church and continues to lead bible studies and faith discussions in her work and ministry outreach. Sandy enjoys the Arizona climate and finds as many opportunities as possible to be active and outside.
Les Taylor has served as chairman of the board for Priority Living Ministry for over two decades. Les and Tom Shrader have been friends since 1982. Both have been involved in teaching ministries and in church leadership for over thirty years. From 1971 to 1993 Les served as a member of the Tempe Police Department, retiring as Assistant Chief of Police. After leaving TPD Les served as Executive Director of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police until 1997. Les and his wife Geri are native Arizonans. Both became Christians in 1979. They have two adult children and five grandchildren.
I was born in Denver Colorado, but have lived all but three years in Phoenix/Scottsdale where I attended Washington High School and Arizona State University, majoring in General Business with minors in Finance and Real Estate. I also have post graduate hours at Phoenix Seminary with a major in biblical communications. I have served the last twenty years as a pastor with Highlands Church. Highlands is a non-denominational bible church and I am responsible for the discipleship and men’s ministry. I also serve as the chaplain for the Scottsdale Fire Department. My other professional work has included two years with First Federal Savings and Loan, six years as a sales associate with Xerox, fourteen years as a commercial real estate broker with CB Commercial Real Estate Group, and two years in partnership with my own brokerage/development company. My wife and I have two sons and eight grandchildren. My recreational interests include golf, fly fishing, and anything involving the grandkids.