Skinner Leadership Institute (formerly Tom Skinner Associates) was founded 1964 in New York City by the renowned author and international advisor, the late Rev. Tom Skinner, to equip and produce technically and morally excellent leaders. In 1992, founders Tom and Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner relocated Skinner Leadership Institute (SLI) to its new headquarters in the Southern Maryland/ Washington , DC area. In 1994, after the passing of her husband Tom Skinner, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner became president of our organization.
Against the continuing oppression of African Americans, trapped in run down urban ghettoes, while white evangelical Christians and black clergy alike preached Christian tradition, God raised up Tom Skinner. This preacher’s kid by day and leader of the largest Harlem gang by night was trapped in the bondage of religious tradition and hatred of whites. Tom Skinner’s freedom to love others came with the knowledge that God so loved Tom that he sent Jesus Christ to die in his place. So great a love freed Tom to die to himself so God might use him to share Christ’s love.
On October 29,1961, Tom Skinner met in an emergency planning session with a group of concerned Christians determined to confront Harlem with the gospel. In 1962, with New York City under a suit demanding desegregation of its public schools and 11 persons arrested in New Jersey after a sit-in, the Tom Skinner Crusade in the Apollo Theatre was launched. Thousands came to hear, and more than 2,000 received Christ during that astounding campaign. Utilizing mass crusades and radio messages thousands of people were impacted by the gospel through the ministry of Tom Skinner Crusades. In 1970, the name was changed to Tom Skinner Associates, Inc. as the ministry expanded into printed literature, music, consultant services for churches, missions, jail and street centers, college chaplaincies, and training church leaders.
In 1981, Tom married Barbara Williams, an attorney and Congressional Black Caucus staffer. A leader and dynamic speaker in her own right, many credit Barbara with broadening Tom’s behind-the-scenes discipleship ministry, especially to politicians, but also to entertainers, and professional athletes. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s the ministry broadened their outreach. Tom served as the Washington Redskins Chaplain for many years, as well as team motivator to the New York Jets, Mets, and Yankees. Unsatisfied with the injustice of the educational system, the Tom Skinner Learning Center, a high technology learning center which served over 300 inner city youth and adults in Newark, New Jersey, was established.
In 1992, Tom and Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner relocated TSA to its new headquarters in the Southern Maryland/ Washington, DC area and established the Skinner Farm Leadership Institute. TSA and SFLI later merged to form the Skinner Leadership Institute. From the creation of Tom Skinner Crusades in 1964, to the time God called him home in 1994, Tom Skinner passionately preached uncompromising and powerfully, the saving grace and power of Jesus Christ. More than almost any other preacher in his generation, Tom preached the gospel of the kingdom of God.