Dear Friends of Skywatch TV, Defender Publishing, and Whispering Ponies Ranch,
As many of you know, on Friday, October 20, 2023, Tom Horn entered into his eternal reward and into the arms of Jesus after a lifetime of ministry and service. Thomas Ray Horn was born on February 28, 1957, in El Mirage, Arizona, to Clarence Edward Horn and Virginia Lee (McLaughlin) Horn.
Known to many of his family and friends as “Joe Joe,” Tom’s early life is riddled with many stories of adventure and mischief while running around the Arizona desert as an adolescent. As a teenager, Tom began working for a local business man in the Phoenix, Arizona area and quickly elevated to being one of the top supervisors of this company, demonstrating a work ethic and professional drive that would become a trait element in all his future endeavors. In 1975, Tom married Juanita Horn, and the two of them shortly thereafter began a life of ministerial service together by becoming youth pastors at a local church. Tom continued working in this capacity while working full time and using what little off-hours he was afforded to put himself through Bible school in hopes of becoming an ordained minister. Within a few short years, Tom and Nita Horn were pastoring their first church: a small home missions congregation outside Roseburg, Oregon. This was the first of many pastoral roles Tom served in, and never was there a more compelling preacher. Tom’s passion, combined with his ability to apply Biblical truths to everyday life left nearly every individual who ever heard him preach wanting to hear more. This was only enriched by his genuine compassion and concern for those he served, for whom he would provide counsel, visit at home or in the hospital, officiate weddings and funerals, and even offer material necessities in their hours of need.
In the late 1980s, Tom’s focus shifted to writing books in which he courageously tackled many challenging and somewhat controversial questions relating to theological views on topics such as extraterrestrial activity, the implications of Genesis 6, Biblical prophecy, and multiple other subjects that many ministries are not in a position to take on.
Tom’s life was spent working while using his “off hours” to accomplish other things. True to this form, during the early season of Tom’s authorship career, he served at a large camp and conference ministry in Oregon while writing on the side. It was during this chapter that Tom and Nita were able to work, for the first time, with a ministry known as Royal Family Kids’ Camp—a foundation that ministers to children within the foster care system and those rescued from multiple forms of trafficking and abuse by exposing them to a fun-filled week of summer camp; where they are able to experience personal growth and empowerment while being introduced to the concept of a God who cares about them. Immediately, this population of marginalized souls captured the hearts of both Tom and Nita, who looked particularly forward to this group’s return each year for their time at this avenue of service.
When Tom “retired” from working at the camp and conference ministry, he continued writing—an endeavor that, by now, had become nearly full-time involvement in Christian media. He and Nita launched Survivor Mall, an online store which financially supplemented Tom’s ability to write full time, and they relocated to Missouri with plans of buying some property, a few horses, and take a slower approach to life as they enjoyed their senior years. Around this same time, Defender Publishing was established, followed several years later by Skywatch TV. Through a series of unexpected life twists, Tom and Nita, together, came to the realization that their retirement chapter on a quiet ranch in Missouri would be better utilized as a summer camp facility that dedicated itself full time to ministering to the same marginalized populace of children which had so captured their hearts before: Royal Family Kids’ Camp and sister ministry Teen Reach. From this, Whispering Ponies Ranch was built, which to this day carries Tom’s legacy, his passion, and his continuing mission to make the world a better place by helping abused children heal and find God’s love.
Over his years of authorship, Tom penned many bestselling books including Forbidden Gates, The Wormwood Prophecy, Exo-Vaticana, Zeitgeist 2025, Shadowland, Abaddon Ascending, and most recently Before Genesis with Donna Howell and his upcoming release, We Are Legion.
Tom is survived by his wife, Juanita F. Horn, and his three children and their families. These include daughter Althia Anderson, son Joe Horn with wife Katherine Horn, and daughter Donna Howell with husband James Howell. Tom is survived by 8 grandchildren: John Anderson, Kathryn Anderson, Kate Horn, Nita Horn, Joe Howell, Althia Howell, Rebecca Horn, and name-sake grandson, Thomas Horn.
The Horn family wishes to thank all of those individuals who have lifted our family and particularly our beloved Daddy, Papa, and husband Tom in prayer over these past days. May your lives always be filled with the blessings of God’s promises.