Meet: Bishop Charles R. Thomas, Sr
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Meet: Bishop Charles R. Thomas, Sr

Bishop Charles R. Thomas, Sr. serves as the Senior Pastor and Founder of One Way Outreach International Fellowship of Churches and Ministries, Inc. He has been happily married to Lady Tanya Thomas for 47 years, and they are blessed with five children and ten grandchildren. Bishop Thomas is a committed husband, father, and grandfather, and is renowned for his devotion to God.

After completing high school, Bishop Thomas worked in the construction field with companies such as DuPont, American Bridge, and Livingston Shipbuilding in Orange, Texas. Later, he moved to Chicago in 1979 and worked as a concrete laborer at Walsh Construction Company and Turner Construction for ten years.

Bishop Thomas was raised in the Church Of God In Christ, under the leadership of his father, the late Superintendent, Pastor Earl V. Thomas, Sr., and his mother, Missionary Dora L. Thomas of Orange, Texas. He is familiar with hard work as he grew up in a family of pastors and missionaries.

In 1989, Bishop Thomas, along with his family, joined the St. Paul Church of God In Christ in Chicago, Illinois, under the leadership of Bishop Louis Henry Ford, the then presiding Bishop of the Churches Of God In Christ worldwide. Bishop Ford became his spiritual father and mentor until he died in 1994. Bishop Ford recognized the strength, boldness, and eagerness of Bishop Thomas and put him to work in the church handling the security detail and later over the videotaping of the St. Paul Church Of God In Christ worship services.

In 1992, Bishop Thomas enrolled in the Bishop C.H. Mason Bible College, where he earned a degree in Ministry and Theology. In 1994 he was ordained an Elder by Bishop Louis Henry Ford just a few months before Bishop Ford’s death. With a passion to reach out to the lost and lead others to Christ, Bishop Thomas began to minister in the streets of Chicago, sharing his testimony and encouraging many people. While working in the church, ministering in the streets of Chicago, and raising a family, Bishop Thomas started his own auto repair and towing company.

With Bishop Ford’s blessing, Bishop Thomas began holding group meetings to help people who suffered from addiction. He invited family members of those suffering from addiction to join in the meetings. Many families were reunited through this ministry, and many addicts recovered. Having a heart for people who were struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, Bishop Thomas took his program to radio in 1997. As a result, he started One Way Outreach Ministries, where he served as Pastor.

Bishop Thomas has held several offices in The Church Of God In Christ and served as Chairman of the Pastors’ and Elders’ Council in the 7th Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Illinois and as Superintendent under the leadership of Regional Bishop RD Edward Goodwin.

Bishop Thomas is a man of action, and his motto is “Stick With It, Don’t Quit It Until You Get It!” In 2005, Bishop Thomas, along with his wife, helped the needy in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita in the cities of Beaumont and Orange, Texas. Seeing the plight of the affected people, Bishop Thomas made one phone call to a ministry in Tampa, Florida. The next day, several eighteen-wheeler trucks loaded with clothing, food, water, supplies, and equipment to rebuild pulled into Orange and Beaumont. Three days later, Bishop Thomas and his wife traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to pick up more supplies for the needy.

Bishop Thomas holds a Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling and an Honorary Doctorate from Midwest Christian Seminary in Schererville, Indiana. He now owns several businesses and has helped his four sons set up their businesses. Bishop Thomas has helped many churches and pastors in Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida.

Bishop Thomas has the gift of bringing people together. In September 2012, the College of Apostles and Bishops found Bishop Thomas (then Pastor Thomas) to be a man well worthy of the Office of Bishop. He has mentored many men and women, helping them reach their potential of self-worth, and has mentored many young pastors, ministers, and those who play a part in servitude. Bishop Thomas continues to pastor One Way Outreach Ministries International.




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