LEADERSHIP

 
 
Image by Caroline Veronez

Reverend Terrance l. Thomas,
senior pastor

“If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give—the ability to influence.”

About the Senior Pastor

Reverend Terrance L. Thomas has the knowledge of Black culture coupled with the anointing of God that places him in the forefront of modern ministry. As a native from the Southside of Chicago, Rev. Thomas knows the block and he knows the Bible. The love he has for the people and his commitment to preaching God’s Word makes him the voice to harken to. Rev. Thomas began his journey into ministry in 2014 under the leadership of the Rev. J Leon Thorn, Pastor of St. James AME Church on the southside of Chicago.

In 2017, Pastor Terrance was ordained Itinerant Deacon and appointed Pastor of the Unity Temple AME Church during the 136th Session of the Chicago Annual Conference by Rt. Rev. Bishop John F. White, Presiding Prelate of the 4th Episcopal District of the AME Church. During his first year of pastoring, Rev. Thomas introduced new and exciting forms of ministry to the Unity Temple congregation such as web and phone based bible studies, a Women’s History Month sermon series dedicated to the life and legacy of Elder Mary Mcleod Bethune and Holy Saturday: A Service of Lament. In 2019, during the 137th Session of the Chicago Annual Conference, Rev. Thomas was elected and ordained and Itinerant Elder within the AME Church. In addition to this honor, Rev. Thomas was transferred to the Illinois Conference of the 4th Episcopal District and appointed Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Champaign, IL. In addition to serving as a Pastor, Rev. Thomas has also worked as a hospital chaplain with the Advocate Aurora Health System. Currently he is seeking to be a certified educator within ACPE.

Prior to his official ministry appointments, Rev. Thomas served as a founding member of the Social Justice Initiative at Philander Smith College under the tutelage of Dr. Joseph L. Jones. His involvement at the Annual Black Studies Conference in conjunction with the Black Studies Department at Olive Harvey College led Rev.  Thomas to convene and work closely with his intellectual father, Mr. Armstead Allen, and other elite black scholars, thinkers, and social activists. This community work gives him an inside experience into academia and culture. With an undergraduate (2007) degree in Inner City Studies with a minor in Sociology from Northeastern Illinois University and a Masters (2017) of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (concentration: African American Church Leadership ), Rev. Thomas is proud to provide Pastoral Care to his flock, both in the physical temple and the community, as they journey through the various seasons of life.

In his spare time, Rev. Thomas enjoys theater, jazz, the sultry soul of 70’s music, video games, political discourse with a sip of whiskey, baseball, professional wrestling, and community service projects. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc; he is father to 5 beautiful children; and he loves to quote Zora Neale Hurston when she says “if you aint got it, you can’t show it. If you do got it, you can’t hide it.”