The Biography of Bishop Ted G. Thomas, Sr.
Who is our beloved leader, Bishop Ted Thomas?
Bishop Ted Thomas, Sr. was born on October l9, 1935 in Raeford, North Carolina to godly parents, the late Elder Simuel Thomas, Sr. and the late Mother Nancy Thomas. They chose to rear him in the "holiness" church and dedicated him to God from his birth.
They later moved the family to Norfolk County, Virginia during Bishop Thomas’ early years. From his parents he acquired the qualities of hard work, diligence and personal devotion. When he was approximately eight years old, the Lord spoke to him and revealed to him his destiny to be a "Bishop." He pondered this in his heart and endeavored very early on to live and conduct himself in a Godly and professional manner. After graduating from high school, he went on to attend college at Norfolk State University. It was during this time that a young, distinctively attractive young lady caught his attention. She too was seeking a quality education as well as a holy life. He sought out a relationship with this, Miss Charletta Virginia Clifton. Heeding the Word of God’s admonition, "It is better to marry than to burn," as well as the Word of God’s promise "He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing," (Proverbs 18:22), he resolved to postpone his education and fulfill his heart’s desire to obey the Word of God and marry well.
Though criticized by his peers and disappointing his parents for postponing his educational pursuits, they were joined in holy matrimony in 1957. His new wife was the granddaughter of the late Overseer Charles Cypress, one of the first "Bishops" of the Church of God in Christ in Virginia, and the daughter of the Late Superintendent Junius and Mrs. Virginia Clifton.
While providing a home for his wife and soon coming family addition as well as working as a mail carrier and attending college, Bishop Thomas along with his wife, Mother Thomas also worked equally and untiring in their local church.
The Educational process . . .
Pastor, as an example to us, went on to graduate from Norfolk State University, achieving a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. Undaunted by the weight of family and church commitments, he continued the pursuit of his education and completed his Master of Science Degree at Hampton University.
Knowing his call to Christian Ministry and Leadership, Bishop Thomas went on to achieve his Doctorate of Divinity Degree from Trinity Hall College and furthered his education by matriculating at varied universities, continuing his education in a program, receiving credits from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago; Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia; Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Virginia and the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
After teaching mathematics for three years, his leadership and youth development skills caught the attention of his administrators. He was promoted to an assistant principal position, where for eleven years he served the Norfolk Public School System until the promotion to the Bishopric and demands of the ministry ended this portion of his career.
A Servant-Leader . . .
Our Pastor accepted his call and was further licensed to preach in 1959. He served as Assistant Pastor of Clifton’s Tabernacle Church of God in Christ in Norfolk and later became the Pastor of New Community Church of God in Christ in Portsmouth in 1967. During those years he worked in every capacity in the local church for its development as the preacher, teacher, bus driver, musician, choir director and refused to allow discouragement to settle in his head or heart-he trusted God’s Word. "Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads, but thou hast brought us out to a wealthy place." (Psalm 66: 12)
In the jurisdictional work, he with his wife by his side, stretched forth his hands to assist the redevelopment of the First Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ in Virginia as the Central District Superintendent for 10 years, the State Young People’s Willing Workers President for five years, founder of the Young People’s Willing Workers Reporter, a quarterly publication, and the Administrative Assistant to the Bishop for 8 years.
The Word of God fulfilled . . .
At the demise of our Bishop of 49 years, the late Bishop David C. Love in 1984, our Pastor was chosen without rival to lead our state as Prelate of the Historic First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia. Noting his loyalty to God and his leadership, our Pastor caught the attention of the Presiding Bishop and General Board of the Church of God in Christ, Inc.
Almost immediately our Pastor, as a rising star, became heralded and the Board (College) of Bishops elected him to serve for five consecutive terms (20 years) as its Secretary. He was also selected during this time to represent the Church of God in Christ on the Board of Directors of the Congress of National Black Churches.
In 1991, he extended his service to become the Pastor of the St. Stephens Church of God in Christ in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and subsequently led them in a massive expansion and renovation project. In our community, he was sought out by the Bank of the Commonwealth and he has served as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of its West Norfolk Branch and now Vice Chairman of the Regional Advisory Board since 2004.
Be thou faithful unto death . . .
Our Pastor, unafraid and courageous, went on to do another massive building project with our new facilities, known as the New Community Temple and Christian Center. He has founded also our New Community Printing Ministry and the Reflections of Faith Bimonthly Newsletter. Ever increasing his faith in God, Bishop Thomas launched out recently and acquired and refurbished most beautifully the historic Carver Cemetery in Suffolk, Virginia. Bishop Thomas has pastored Herald of His Coming Church of God in Christ, St. Stephens Church of God in Christ and New Community Temple Church of God in Christ. All of which he completed massive remodeling and building of new additions.
And his children shall be mighty upon the Earth . . .
With all of his awards and achievements of which we, along with him are Godly proud, his greatest legacy to us is his love of family from his most devoted and lovely companion and love of his life, Mother Charletta C. Thomas, to their six sons.
The sons are, "Ted, Jr.", a professional percussionist on Global Food Network with ‘Emeril Live’; “Christopher B.", an unmatched composer, producer and preacher; "Marc" an award winning teacher, bassist and preacher extraordinaire; "Charles" a musician, businessman and preacher; "Jonathan" an insurance agent and investment counselor; and "Reuben" an extremely talented Psalmist and choir leader. In addition to their sons, they have three beautiful daughters (by marriage) and nine grandchildren (Bishop’s legacy).
It is our hope that you will come to know and love our Pastor as we have and do. We, along with Bishop Thomas, pray that you will stand with him as we build Christ’s Church and Kingdom together with HIM.