Elder Samuel Thomas obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Elder Samuel Thomas

August 15, 1918 - March 25, 2015

Obituary




Elder Samuel Thomas, Sr.



August 15, 1918 – March 26, 2015



Born in the community of Tutwiler, MS, August 15, 1918, Elder Samuel Thomas, Sr. met Christ and Biblical values through reading Bible Readings for the Home. Deprivation and near starvation in his childhood, built a man who was not easily dissuaded from his focused goal. Growing up during the depression and serving in WWII, left an indelible impression on the necessity of being frugal, responsible, accountable, building character values in his children, crafting manly sons, and teaching...



Elder Samuel Thomas, Sr.



August 15, 1918 – March 26, 2015



Born in the community of Tutwiler, MS, August 15, 1918, Elder Samuel Thomas, Sr. met Christ and Biblical values through reading Bible Readings for the Home. Deprivation and near starvation in his childhood, built a man who was not easily dissuaded from his focused goal. Growing up during the depression and serving in WWII, left an indelible impression on the necessity of being frugal, responsible, accountable, building character values in his children, crafting manly sons, and teaching a strong work ethic. He and his wife, Laura Hubbard, of Baton Rouge, LA were avid supporters of Christian education and fostered within their four children (Loleta; Samuel, Jr.; Ouida; and Leander) a love for God, respect for country, and uncompromising dedication to the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church. Elder Samuel Thomas, Sr. loved being a dad. His background of a godless home and generational unchurched family system, established within him a steadfast commitment to family worship, family vacations around the country, and loyalty to God's Biblical instruction and the Spirit of Prophecy. Uncompromising in principle, Elder Thomas never lost sight of teaching his children the necessity of independent and analytical thought. Military training and his conversion from the gang land years of prohibition made him especially particular about maintaining truth and advancing the truth.



Determined, committed, dedicated, creative, and a lover of people were some of the characteristics which made Elder Samuel Thomas, Sr. one of the most beloved pioneers within Regional Conference history. Early in his ministry, in the South Atlantic Conference, Elder Thomas developed several strategies for mobilizing churches for effective evangelism. While director of Personal Ministries, 1956 - 1967, he organized the first Lay Person's Congress, hosted by the Berean SDA Church in Atlanta, GA. When he was called to serve as the first Personal Ministries Director in the newly formed Allegheny West Conference (AWC) in 1967, Elder Thomas transferred the effective strategies gained from lay evangelistic meetings facilitated in the South Atlantic territory and launched the second Lay Person's Congress hosted by the Glenville SDA Church in Cleveland, OH. Both churches were pastored by Elder H.L. Cleveland, although several years apart. Elder Thomas's innovative methods and stellar results for empowering members to public evangelism drew the attention of the Columbia Union Conference in 1976. After serving the AWC for nine years, he transitioned to the new post in Takoma Park, MD (now headquartered in Columbia, MD) and became the first African-American Director for the Columbia Union. His ministry portfolio consisted of Personal Ministries, Sabbath School Ministries, Inner City Ministries, Community Services, and ASI.



Elder Samuel Thomas, Sr. passed to Christian rest, Wednesday morning, March 26.



Elder Thomas is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Laura Hubbard Thomas, and their three children, Loleta Thomas Bailey, Samuel Thomas, Jr., and Leander Thomas. Elder Thomas is also survived by two wonderful grandchildren, Samuel III, and Christine Elaine Thomas.



The family of the beloved Elder Thomas invites you to celebrate his 96 years of life, and 56 years of ministry on: Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at Oakwood University SDA Church, 5500 Adventist Blvd Huntsville, AL 35896



Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:



Mrs. Laura Hubbard Thomas



121 Matt Philips Road



Huntsville, AL 35806