For the last 25 years, Evangelist Rich Tozour (’89) has worked with two eternal entities—the Word of God and the souls of men. In Kansas City, Missouri, he has led Tozour Evangelistic Ministries, traveling as a local church evangelist out of Eagle Heights Baptist Church.
Rich, who had accepted Christ as Savior at 10, surrendered to full-time ministry at 15, about a year after his parents had fully surrendered to the Lord. “It occurred to me that night that my life’s calling should be up to the Lord and not to me,” he said. “Though scared to death to do public speaking, I had an idea that I would end up being a preacher.”
Eventually, he made his way to Florida to see what PCC had to offer. “I wanted a distinctly Christian education. It needed to be in a school that was dispensational in its theological perspective and practical in its application of God’s Word. It needed to practice biblical separation and exhibit a gracious spirit. And since I would be a Bible major, I definitely wanted a college that would teach Greek out of the Received Text (Textus Receptus) and that held to the King James Version in preaching and teaching,” he explained. “Pensacola Christian College fit those criteria.”
During that time, his father Richard “Dick” Tozour, Sr. (’91) joined him at PCC to earn a master’s in Bible Exposition from Pensacola Theological Seminary. “My dad, who was a general contractor, felt that the Lord might want him to pastor someday. We were both in the ministerial class together in ’88–’89 when I was president of that year’s ministerial class,” Rich said. “My dad never did end up in ministry, though he was fully yielded to doing so, but he was a faithful member at Campus Church for 20 years. He worked at Home Depot in Pensacola for most of those years [where] he was such a faithful witness. I called him a ‘missionary to Home Depot.’ ”
While at PCC, Rich learned much from his classes, from solidifying his own biblical convictions and beliefs in Bible Doctrines to knowing how to communicate clearly and correctly in speech and English classes. However, some of his most-used teaching methods found their roots in unexpected classes, and others weren’t received in class at all. “I didn’t appreciate History of Civilization at the time, but now I consistently use history as source for illustrating Bible truth,” Tozour said. “One of the greatest benefits to me was having excellent guest preachers in chapel, church, and ministerial class during my college years.”
After graduating in 1989, Rich gave some thought into pursuing a master’s degree, but his life was shaped by another opportunity—working as a College representative. At that point, he found himself traveling the country, preaching once or twice a day for two years. Loving the adventure of it, traveling often became regular for Rich, now doing so with his family for evangelism work. “Our whole family loves to travel. We’ve been to every state and to some other countries,” Tozour said. “We love the quote from Augustine, ‘The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.’ ”
On his life’s path, Rich credits longtime PCC staff member Reggie Sellers (retired 2018) for helping steer him in the right direction. After delivering what Rich described as “a particularly heavy-handed sermon,” Rich received advice from Mr. Sellers that he’d never forget. “He explained, ‘Rich, people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care. Your preaching is fine, but your tone conveys condescension. My concern is not just for you as a preacher representing this institution; I’m concerned for your life-long ministry. You won’t last long in evangelism if people don’t sense that you care about them,’ ” Tozour recalled. “That day proved to be the breaking point in my life. I’m grateful for many things Mr. Sellers taught me; that one was the most important.”
Attending PCC proved to be more than just college experience for Evangelist Tozour; it led him down the road the Lord intended for him and gave him the privilege of seeing his daughter Briana (’18) graduate from his alma mater. “I settled in my heart the doctrines that made me an independent Baptist by conviction. I was broken so the Lord could use me. I met the girl I would marry, Angela Wessberg (’93), whose influence would make a greater impact on me than anyone else but the Lord Himself,” he said. “I’m very grateful that I received a solid foundation for ministry during my college years at PCC and in the experiences I received working as a rep after graduation.”