A life devoted to helping others

Orphan Helpers Has Lost a Great Leader and Friend of Our Mission


Tom Manthei, a Board Member of Orphan Helpers since 2007 and former Board Chairman, passed away from a massive stroke on Wednesday, February 5th while at the family RV parks in California. Our hearts go out to his wife, Teri, and their five sons and their families.


Tom devoted his life to expanding God’s Kingdom. In addition to Orphan Helpers, he served on many mission organization boards, generously supporting and guiding numerous works to extend the Gospel of Christ throughout the world.


Tom became involved with Orphan Helpers after a Vision Trip to Central America in 2005. He remained a constant friend of the ministry over the past 15 years. He made several trips during those years to Honduras and El Salvador to see the work firsthand and to encourage those on the frontlines.


Tom’s influence caused a ripple effect throughout Northern Michigan, establishing a very strong support base for Orphan Helpers. In 2005, Tom led the church where he worshiped to become a partner church. This partnership enabled Orphan Helpers to expand the ministry to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and to serve in three additional government centers in the city. He also led the fundraising initiative that launched Orphan Helpers’ Success Academies which have trained nearly 600 abandoned and incarcerated youth in Christian leadership and life skills.


Tom will be significantly missed at Orphan Helpers as a constant source of wisdom, encouragement and inspiration. His style was to build consensus, creating unity and careful collaboration among our Board members and staff. Whatever issue arose, Tom proposed action steps to move the organization forward. When problems would surface, Tom remained positive.


Tom provided the same unifying leadership in the Manthei family businesses, a family that has utilized their success to support and provide leadership in several major mission organizations. Tom leaves an incredible legacy as a Christian leader with great generosity, humility, and compassion for all, providing a glimpse of the great love of God for the world.


Tom served and gave to the very end of his life. We all feel a huge personal loss with Tom’s passing, but know that we are releasing him to be with his heavenly Father for all eternity.


Thank you, Tom, for your life of service to others!

Jesus said..., “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

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