By Joe Gschwendtner; photos courtesy of Tom Melton
City of Castle Pines residents likely know Tom and Jill Melton as darn good neighbors. Married and best friends for 47 years, they and their three children, Brandon, Nicholas and Ashley, have made a life together in Castle Pines high country for 25 years. Tom, founder of Greenwood Community Church, operates on a higher octane, leveraging his experience and inspiration with C-suite executives.
Tom was and remains, an ideator, an idea man. With life achievements in numerous fields, Tom now coaches others in his creative, organizational and interpersonal magic. He counts John Elway and George Solich, CEO of FourPoint Energy among his numerous clients.
Tom’s parents were from Iowa and he grew up near 8th and Grove streets in Denver. In fact, early on he was a cut-up in school, showing signs of taking a path less traveled. As with many in the 1970s, self-discipline was less important than finding oneself. Tom did this with his faith.
Never a salesman and always an inspirer, Tom put his formal education to work, (three degrees and a doctorate in ministry systems) to build Young Life youth organizations throughout Colorado. Yet, in spite of his success in youth ministry circles, Tom remained restless and near penniless.
He found his way to Jim Dixon’s Cherry Hills Community Church, succeeding where he needed to step out of the founder’s shadow. While working there, opportunity knocked and he found a failed church building, including real estate, available for $1 million. With founders who knew his heart and capabilities, Greenwood Community Church was born. Over 30 years and with God’s grace, Tom took a fledgling congregation to well over 2,000 parishioners when he departed.
The second half of his life was another stewardship, using similar success principles but outside the “cloth.” Never a conventional fellow, Tom successfully entered comedy and talk show radio as “Walt and Walt” where he connected with big personalities like Roy Romer and Dan Reeves.
Later, he gained a position as vice president of development with a logistics management firm. While the sales element of it was unappealing to Tom, he enjoyed working with company culture, fine-tuning it with his ideas for better focus and efficiency.
Life is indeed, a process. Tom continues to enjoy thinking of stuff. On one outing with good friends, they discussed dreams. What they really wanted. Jeff Puckett wanted a helicopter. Tom said, “Why not?” Over time, Jeff became a helicopter pilot and eventually acquired one and saw life from a new perspective. This “dream” would then become Prayer One Ministry. Puckett uses his chopper to connect religious leaders at altitude in Colorado. For this, Harrison Ford, a pilot himself, gave Puckett the 7th Living Legend of Aviation Award, no small distinction.
Tom’s work with Puckett was but one of many perspective-changing moments, coaching people to either higher or better places in life. Thus, Tom’s professional leadership firm was born in 2015 – Melton Leadership.
Life has taught Tom that his greatest strengths are interpersonal, meeting people where they are, helping to sculpt their dreams. Also, virtually nothing is impossible when you have faith.