Phyllis, after persevering for three months in the ministry school received an "Able Minister's Diploma" and Tom went on for another nine months in the pastoral school and was ordained in 1985. The Lord immediately opened a door for them to pastor a small church in Palmetto, Florida, across the Manatee River from Bradenton. After three years they were released from that assignment, which allowed them to increase their missionary work to Honduras and other nations as the Holy Spirit led. As the years in Florida passed, their vision for a home-state church became greatly diminished. But they were determined to remain where God had placed them, hoping that His perfect will would become clear one day for them to return home to raise up a church. Living there and the preceding wait proved to be the most difficult years of their lives, some of which is shared in their book, To Know, Love & Serve God, published in 1994.