Dr. Thomas Ludowici

Photo courtesy of Adventist HealthCare Limited.

Ludowici, Thomas Hunter (1936–2014)

By Lester Devine

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Originally trained as a secondary history teacher, a career long Adventist educator, Lester Devine, Ed.D., has taught at elementary, secondary and higher education levels and spent more than three decades in elected educational leadership positions in two divisions of the world Church, NAD (1969-1982) and SPD (1982-2005). He completed his forty years of denominational service with a term as director of the Ellen G. White/Adventist Research Centre at Avondale University College in Australia where his life-long hobby of learning and presenting on Adventist heritage issues became his vocation. 

First Published: January 29, 2020

Thomas (Tom) Hunter Ludowici, pastor, evangelist, church administrator, and chaplain, was born on December 11, 1936 in the country town of Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia.1 At the time, his father was a country doctor in the nearby town of Wee Waa.2 Ludowici was baptized at Stanmore Church on December 5, 1952.3 Enrolling at Avondale College at the age of 16, he completed the two-year accountancy course in just one year. Under conviction of a call into ministry, Ludowici continued at Avondale as a ministerial student. Always active, even in his student days, Ludowici was the editor of the first issue of the Avondale College annual, Jacaranda.4 Upon his graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theology in 1957, he began his ministerial career with the Church in January 1958.5

On February 3, 1958, Ludowici married Pamela (Pam) Isobel Ion in Wahroonga, New South Wales.6 Pamela Ion was born in Dalwallinu, Western Australia, on July 15, 1936.7 To this union were born two children, Stephen Hunter and Kerrie Jill.8

For the next 14 years, the Ludowicis ministered together in Masterton,9 Dannevirke,10 Napier,11 Hastings,12 Gisborne,13 and Auckland,14 New Zealand. Ludowici was ordained on January 12, 1963, one year before he left New Zealand to accept an appointment in Western Australia. There, they ministered in Perth,15 Albany,16 Geraldton,17 and Darwin.18 Records indicate that Tom Ludowici was a prolific soul winner, baptising numerous converts in every year of his ministry in New Zealand and Australia.19 One notable convert while in Darwin was the indigenous princess Bett Bett who was featured in Mrs. Aeneas Gunn's Australian book, The Little Black Princess, and in the other equally popular Australian Outback story by the same author, We of the Never Never.20

In 1971, Tom and Pam Ludowici, together with Stephen and Kerrie, moved to the United States21 where Tom Ludowici became an evangelist and pastor in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference on June 1.22 He conducted the first integrated evangelistic program in the conference.23 After two years in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, both Tom and Pam Ludowici enrolled at Andrews University. There Tom Ludowici completed a Master of Divinity in 1975, a Master of Arts in 1976, and a Doctor of Ministry in 1978.24 Pam Ludowici, who had earlier completed her training as a Primary (Elementary) teacher at Avondale College in 1957, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in art education in 1977.25 She also began a Master’s degree in counselling, but was unable to complete it before the family left Andrews. Pam Ludowici later graduated with a Master of Arts degree in marriage and family life from Loma Linda University.26 While still studying at Andrews, Tom Ludowici accepted an invitation to become the senior chaplain at Sydney Adventist Hospital.27 Before returning to Australia, he completed his clinical-pastoral training with a residency program at Kettering Hospital in Ohio.28

After the family’s return to Australia in 1978, Ludowici was initially employed as senior chaplain at Sydney Adventist Hospital, and subsequently held other leadership roles culminating in his appointment as Director of Mission for the hospital, a position he held until his retirement in 2005.29

Pam Ludowici served as an oncology chaplain at Sydney Adventist Hospital, and also led the development of the Cancer Support Centre and Jacaranda Lodge, thereby providing cancer support and accommodation for families of patients. In 2000, she initiated a new Help Team of volunteers assisting the nurses and staff throughout the Hospital.30

Tom Ludowici’s contributions were not confined to the Sydney Adventist Hospital. He developed new approaches to ministry both in the wider Adventist Church community and also at Avondale College where he assisted with the training of ministers. His development of a stronger team of female and male chaplains was both significant and enduring. He started a Counselling Centre within the Chaplains Department of the Hospital and equipped it with a lending library. He also initiated the provision of audio-visual equipment in patient rooms through which spiritual and wellness programs were channelled.

From 1986 to 1989, Ludowici was the organizing secretary for the Australian Health and Welfare Chaplains Association and worked on the executive committee for the Clinical and Pastoral Council of the state of New South Wales. He was admitted as a member of the Royal Society of Health. With Dr. Bert Clifford, Ludowici established the Centre for Bioethics. The professional library is known as the Tom Ludowici Bioethics Collection. For ten years, Tom Ludowici and Bert Clifford conducted annual, and well-attended, National Bioethics Conferences where issues such as euthanasia, abortion, IVF, genetic engineering, surrogacy, and cloning were addressed. In addition, Ludowici was the secretary of the hospital Human Research Ethics Committee from 1985 to 2005 when he retired.

During the 1980s, Tom conducted two national seminars on sexual abuse inviting Church leaders to address the issue. Working together, Tom and Pam Ludowici developed marriage and family seminars, which they conducted all over Australia and, in addition, provided numerous seminars for youth and engaged couples. In 2003, Tom Ludowici led a year-long centennial celebration for the hospital and edited a history book about the institution.31 Ludowici’s work with grief and loss among community groups resulted in invitations to conduct seminars for health professionals and community members throughout the state of New South Wales.32

After Ludowici moved into administration in 1991, his earlier contribution lived on in the work of his successors as senior chaplains who “sought to foster similar objectives within a context of accelerating change.”33

When Ludowici retired, Dr. Bert Clifford, the former hospital CEO, commented, “One of Tom’s greatest contributions has been nurturing the soul of the institution and hospital family. That sort of stuff cannot be bought but is what Tom has also brought and given to us.” Clifford also noted, “You articulated a vision confronting the challenges of outreach in a new age. In contemporary parlance ‘your vision has been actualised.’” Dr. Arthur Patrick who succeeded Ludowici as senior chaplain, said of him, “I found in Tom a deep caring for all of God’s people whether they be Jewish, Muslim or Christian.”34

Those who led out in Ludowici’s funeral in 2014 noted that he “was a dynamic yet gracious leader” and while his achievements were too numerous to list at that event, “those who knew him were drawn to his warm and caring manner.”35

Sources

Bland, G. J. “Superlatives.” Australasian Record, June 23, 1958.

Ferch-Johnson, Carole, Roger Henley, Adrian Flemming and Kevin Price. “Thomas Hunter Ludowici obituary.” Adventist Record, November 15, 2014.

“Flash Point.” Australasian Record, January 11, 1971.

“Flash Point.” Australasian Record, May 2, 1977.

Heise, V. J. “Lawrence Sydney Gallop obituary.” Australasian Record, November 7, 1966.

“Hospital Celebrates Centenary Homecoming.” Australasian Record, July 26, 2003.

Kent, Raymond H. “Bedrock to Forty Members.” Australasian Record, December 14, 1959.

Ludowici, Thomas H. “Princess Bett-Bett Finds her King.” Australasian Record, January 5, 1970.

Ludowici, Thomas H. “Suddenly There Shone a Light.” Australasian Record, June 8, 1959.

Maberly, F. T. “Evangelism in Western Australia.” Australasian Record, May 25, 1964.

“Mission Focus at Year-end Meetings.” Australasian Record, December 18, 1999.

Mitchell, Ray. “Andrews University Spring Graduation 1978.” Australasian Record, August 7, 1978.

Patrick, Arthur N. The San: 100 Years of Christian Caring 1903-2003, Warburton, Victoria: Signs Publishing Company, 2003.

Ste wart, Edith. “Year-end Celebrations at Carmel.” Australasian Record, February 24, 1969.

Stokes, F. L. “Building with ‘Lively Stones’ and Timber.” Australasian Record, June 18, 1962.

Stokes, F. L. “Growing and Building in North New Zealand.” Australasian Record, July 8, 1963.

Stokes, F. L. “Two by Two.” Australasian Record, December 4, 1961.

Thomas Hunter Ludowici Biographical Records. South Pacific Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Archives.

Thomas Hunter Ludowici Evangelistic Records. South Pacific Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Archives.

Thomas Hunter Ludowici Service Records. South Pacific Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Archives.

Thomas Hunter Ludowici Personal Service Records. South Pacific Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Archives.

White, E. E. “Ludowici – Ion,” Australasian Record, March 3, 1958, 7.

Wooller, K. J. “Ralph H. Ludowici obituary.” Australasian Record, February 9, 1959.

Notes

  1. Carole Ferch-Johnson, Roger Henley, Adrian Flemming and Kevin Price, “Thomas Hunter Ludowici obituary,” Adventist Record, November 15, 2014, 22.

  2. K. J. Wooller, “Ralph H. Ludowici obituary,” Australasian Record, February 9, 1959, 7.

  3. Thomas Hunter Ludowici Biographical Records; South Pacific Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Archives; Folder: “Ludowici, Thomas Hunter;” Document: “Worker’s Biographical Record.”

  4. Pam Ludowici, email message to author, June 27, 2018.

  5. Thomas Hunter Ludowici Personal Service Records; South Pacific Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Archives; Folder: “Ludowici, Thomas Hunter;” Document: “Personal Service Record.”

  6. E. E. White, “Ludowici – Ion,” Australasian Record, March 3, 1958, 7.

  7. Thomas Hunter Ludowici Biographical Records; South Pacific Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Archives; Folder: “Ludowici, Thomas Hunter;” Document: “Biographical Record.”

  8. Ibid.

  9. G. J. Bland, “Superlatives,” Australasian Record, June 23, 1958, 4.

  10. Raymond H. Kent, “Bedrock to Forty Members,” Australasian Record, December 14, 1959, 4.

  11. F. L. Stokes, “Two by Two,” Australasian Record, December 4, 1961, 8.

  12. Ibid.

  13. F. L. Stokes, “Building with ‘Lively Stones’ and Timber,” Australasian Record, June 18, 1962, 4.

  14. Thomas H. Ludowici, “Suddenly there Shone a Light,” Australasian Record, June 8, 1959, 4; F. L. Stokes, “Growing and Building in North New Zealand,” Australasian Record, July 8, 1963, 6.

  15. F. T. Maberly, “Evangelism in Western Australia,” Australasian Record, May 25, 1964, 7.

  16. V. J. Heise, “Lawrence Sydney Gallop obituary,” Australasian Record, November 7, 1966, 15.

  17. Edith Stewart, “Year-end Celebrations at Carmel,” Australasian Record, February 24, 1969, 11.

  18. “Flash Point,” Australasian Record, January 11, 1971, 16.

  19. Thomas Hunter Ludowici Evangelistic Records; South Pacific Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Archives; Folder: “Ludowici, Thomas Hunter;” Document: “Conference Worker’s Evangelistic Record.”

  20. Thomas H. Ludowici, “Princess Bett-Bett Finds her King,” Australasian Record, January 5, 1970, 1.

  21. “About now, Pastor Tom Ludowici,” Australasian Record, January 11, 1971, 16.

  22. Thomas Hunter Ludowici Service Records; South Pacific Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Archives; Folder: “Ludowici, Thomas Hunter;” Document: “Ludowici, Thomas Hunter Service Record.”

  23. Pam Ludowici, email message to author, June 27, 2018.

  24. Ray Mitchell, “Andrews University Spring Graduation 1978,” Australasian Record, August 7, 1978, 9.

  25. Thomas Hunter Ludowici Biographical Records; South Pacific Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Archives; Folder: “Ludowici, Thomas Hunter;” Document: “Biographical Record.”.

  26. Pam Ludowici email message to author, June 27, 2018.

  27. “Flash Point,” Australasian Record, May 2, 1977, 16.

  28. Pam Ludowici, email message to author, June 27, 2018.

  29. “Mission Focus at Year-end Meetings,” Australasian Record, December 18, 1999, 8.

  30. Pam Ludowici, email message to author June 27, 2018.

  31. “Hospital Celebrates centenary Homecoming,” Australasian Record, July 26, 2003, 1.

  32. Pam Ludowici, email message to author, June 27, 2018.

  33. Arthur N. Patrick, The San; 100 Years of Christian Caring 1903 -2003 (Warburton, Victoria: Signs Publishing Company, 2003), 183.

  34. Pam Ludowici, email message to author, June 27, 2018.

  35. Carole Ferch-Johnson, Roger Henley, Adrian Flemming and Kevin Price, “Thomas Hunter Ludowici obituary, Adventist Record, November 15, 2014, 22.

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Devine, Lester. "Ludowici, Thomas Hunter (1936–2014)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed August 03, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=57ZC.

Devine, Lester. "Ludowici, Thomas Hunter (1936–2014)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access August 03, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=57ZC.

Devine, Lester (2020, January 29). Ludowici, Thomas Hunter (1936–2014). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved August 03, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=57ZC.