Remembering the legacy of our former Prelate and Elect Lady . . .
Ted G. Thomas, Sr. was appointed seventh in succession as prelate of the Historic First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia of the Church Of God In Christ in 1984 and has served in this position for more than 27 years. Under his leadership, the Jurisdiction has enjoyed tremendous growth and has gone from 18 churches to more than 50 in only a few short years. From his early beginnings and through the teaching of godly mentors, Bishop Thomas’ ministry has been marked by a steadfast belief in holiness as he upholds the doctrines of the Church Of God In Christ.
Noting his loyalty to God and his leadership, Bishop Thomas caught the attention of the Presiding Bishop and General Board of the Church, and in 1984 the Board of Bishops elected him to serve for five consecutive terms (20 years) as its Secretary. During this time Bishop Thomas was also selected to represent the Church Of God In Christ on the Board of Directors of the Congress of National Black Churches.
In 2009 Bishop Thomas was appointed as an Associate Justice of the National Judiciary Board, where he meets the qualifications of demonstrating mature judgment, proven ability, integrity and thorough knowledge of the Church Of God In Christ. Bishop Thomas was also appointed Assistant Dean of the Presiding Bishop’s Episcopal Leadership Academy in 2009. Bishop Thomas has also served as Commissioner of Operations for the International Holy Convocation, member of the National Publishing Board and member of the Committee to renovate the Lelia Mason Home.
Always a strong supporter of his leader, in an unprecedented and historic show of support for the non-profit organization Save Africa’s Children, Bishop Thomas presented Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake with $50,000 during his own 25th Silver Anniversary Celebration in 2009.
During the 2012 General Assembly of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc., Bishop Ted G. Thomas, Sr. was elected to the General Board. He serves as one of the twelve apostles of the Church who are responsible for establishing and executing policies for the membership, as well as sustaining and perpetuating spiritual order within the Church.
During the 2016 General Assembly of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc., Bishop Ted G. Thomas, Sr. was re-elected to the General Board.
Presently, Bishop Thomas is the pastor of both New Community Temple COGIC in Portsmouth, Virginia where he has served for more than 48 years and St. Stephens COGIC in Virginia Beach where he has served for more than 24 years. He has also served as district superintendent, administrative assistant to his former prelate, state YPWW president and state Sunday school superintendent.
Bishop Thomas is a long-time educator and recognizes the importance of higher education. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Norfolk State University and his Master of Science degree from Hampton University. After teaching mathematics for three years, his stellar leadership and youth development skills promoted him to an assistant principal position where he served the Norfolk Public School system for 11 years. Bishop Thomas also taught mathematics at the evening college of Norfolk State University.
Knowing his call to Christian ministry, Bishop Thomas went on to achieve his Doctorate of Divinity degree from Trinity Hall College and received further study from Moody Bible Institute, Old Dominion University, Virginia Polytechnic and State University and the College of William and Mary.
With godly wisdom and integrity, Bishop Thomas served for more than 20 years on the Advisory Committee for the Bank of the Commonwealth. He served as the Board Chairman of the Cedar Road Branch and Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Board for all 21 branches of the Bank of the Commonwealth. In this capacity, Bishop Thomas was instrumental in assisting other pastors, several of different jurisdictions and reformations, obtain financing for church expansion. Presently, he is the co-owner of the Carver Memorial Cemetery in Suffolk, Virginia.
Upon his demise on June 24, 2020, Bishop Thomas was married to Mother Charletta Clifton Thomas for over 60 years. To their union, the Lord has blessed them with six sons, three daughter-in-laws and ten grandchildren.
Mother Charletta Virginia Clifton Thomas is the oldest daughter of the late Superintendent Junius L. Clifton and the late Mother Virginia Clifton. She has 3 brothers and 3 sisters. When she was born, her great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents were members of the Church of God in Christ. Her mother, Mrs. Virginia Cypress Clifton, sung and traveled with the Saints Academy Choir in the late 1930’s. Her great-grandfather, Overseer Charles Cypress, served for a short while as State Overseer of Virginia.
Bishop and Mother Thomas married in 1957 and to this union God blessed them to have and rear six sons: Brother Ted Thomas, Jr., Elder Christopher B. (Katrina) Thomas, Elder Marc A. (N. Kimberly), Brother Charles (Kim Machelle) Thomas, Brother Jonathan Thomas, and Brother Reuben Thomas. She has reared them and nurtured them in Holy living and God has blessed them tremendously. Along with two preachers, two of them are ministers of music, one is a professional musician with the Food Network, one is an Insurance Agent and Investment Counselor for PrimeAmerica, and one is a talented and gifted songster.
Since 1995, Mother Thomas has been retired but enjoys helping to rear and nurture Charles and Kim’s two sons and one daughter: Charles, Jr, Emanuel, and Kiara Thomas, as well as Marc and Naomi Kimberly’s four sons: Marc, Jr., Evan, Aaron Thomas, and Marsen and Chris and Katrina’s daughter, Jamerron and son, Ted Junius Clifton Thomas.
Before retirement, Mother Thomas worked for 29 years as a Business Education teacher for Chesapeake City Schools. She also served the City of Norfolk as a Social Worker with the Department of Human Services.
For over four decades, she has labored as the Executive Secretary of the State Women’s Department. She is also the President of the State Pastors, Elders, Ministers, and Deacons Wives and holds the same position at both New Community and St. Stephen’s. For six years, Mother Thomas was the writer of the Junior High Sunday School Quarterly for students and teachers. She also taught classes and is a member of the Board of Directors for the C. H. Mason Bible School (VA#1).
Mother Thomas was the Elect Lady of New Community and St. Stephen’s Churches of God in Christ and was a well-sought after speaker and workshop leader. She was a lived her testimony that she could depend upon God and He could depend on her!