Elder Gene Thomas

Elder Gene Thomas

Elder Gene Thomas

I was born on  January 3, 1929,  in Scottsboro, Alabama. My parents were Joe and Minnie Thomas.

On  the  4th weekend  in  September 1940,  the  Mud  Creek Association  convened with Union Church. On Friday  I was  in  a  quiet, meditative  mood.  That afternoon  my  mother decided  that  we  would go  home  with  Brother and  Sister  Jim Wilborn. Some others went on to Brother Wilborn’s  by  car,  but mother  and  I  and  a  few  others  rode  in Brother Wilborn’s wagon. As we bounced along, tears were formed in my eyes as I became resolved  to offer myself  for membership  in  the church the  following  day. My mother  discerned  that  something  was  bothering me.  She  finally  asked  if  it  was  about  the  church.  I  nodded  in  the affirmative. Not knowing what to say, she could only pat my shoulder.

After  the preaching services on Saturday morning an opportunity  to unite with the church was given. The services were held in a grove of trees and  a  stand  had  been  erected  for  the ministers. As  the  invitation  song began, I walked forward to the stand. I was only eleven years of age and very small for my age. The stand was  too high for me  to climb  into and Elder H. P. Houk, the Moderator, did not notice my coming and standing at  the  edge  of  the  stand.  I  then  reached  up  and  caught  the  cuff  of  his pants and began  jerking  it  to gain his attention. He  looked down, picked me  up,  and  put me  in  the  stand.  Six  others,  including my  older  sister Kathryn, also came forward. My sister and I were baptized by Elder H. P. Copeland.

My first effort in a public way took place on the 3rd Sunday in June of 1948 at Bethlehem Church near Limrock, Alabama. The deacons of my home church approached me on the churchyard a few minutes before the time  of  the  preaching  service.  Brother W. H.  Butler  spoke  to me  and asked if I would take part in the services that day. Feeling that it would be right to be obedient to the desires of my brethren, I replied that I would do  so. When  the  time  came, dear old Elder  J. W. Page  led me  into  the pulpit. I opened the Bible to Ezekiel 16:1-6 and read those verses. I spoke for about  ten minutes on  the subject of original sin and depravity. Amid tears, I  took my seat with a mixed sense of relief and a realization  that a heavy weight of  responsibility was being  assumed. From  this  time  forth there has been no place to turn back. In November  of  1948 Union  Church, while  in  regular  conference, expressed  their  desire  that  I  should  be  set  apart  as  a  gospel  minister. According  to  the  arrangements,  we  met  at  Union  Church,  Woodville, Alabama,  in  the Mud Creek Association, on Sunday morning, December 5, 1948, at ten o’clock, for that purpose. The presbytery was composed of the  following:  Elders  H.  P.  Houk,  John  Page,  H.  P.  Copeland,  K W. Yeager, Henry Autry, B. A. Stephens, M. M. Morton, and sixteen deacons. Elder Houk was  chosen  as moderator  and Brother W. M. Butler,  clerk. The Moderator  appointed Elder Yeager  to  offer  prayer, Elder Autry  to question the candidate; and Elder H. P. Copeland to deliver the charge. I  have  served  as  a  pastor  of Union Church  continuously  from my ordination to the present (February 1998). Through the years I have been called at various other churches as pastor or to fill regular appointments. Among these are Bethel, Mud Creek, Pilgrim’s Rest, Bethlehem, Sweeten’s Cove,  Hurricane,  New  Home,  Mount  Pisgah  and  Macedonia.  At  the present time I am serving Union Church and Macedonia Church.

In  conclusion,  it  has  been  my  sincere  desire  to  uphold  sound, scriptural  principles  of  doctrine  as  well  as  clean,  godly  principles  of practices  in all our churches. I believe  in facing  the problems of our day with  the  answers  as provided  in  the Bible.  It  is my humble desire  to be numbered  among  those who  “earnestly contend  for  the  faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

After  the preaching services on Saturday morning an opportunity  to
unite with the church was given. The services were held in a grove of trees
and  a  stand  had  been  erected  for  the ministers. As  the  invitation  song
began, I walked forward to the stand. I was only eleven years of age and
very small for my age. The stand was  too high for me  to climb  into and
Elder H. P. Houk, the Moderator, did not notice my coming and standing
at  the  edge  of  the  stand.  I  then  reached  up  and  caught  the  cuff  of  his
pants and began  jerking  it  to gain his attention. He  looked down, picked
me  up,  and  put me  in  the  stand.  Six  others,  including my  older  sister
Kathryn, also came forward. My sister and I were baptized by Elder H. P.
Copeland.
My first effort in a public way took place on the 3rd Sunday in June
of 1948 at Bethlehem Church near Limrock, Alabama. The deacons of my
home church approached me on the churchyard a few minutes before the
time  of  the  preaching  service.  Brother W. H.  Butler  spoke  to me  and
asked if I would take part in the services that day. Feeling that it would be
right to be obedient to the desires of my brethren, I replied that I would
do  so. When  the  time  came, dear old Elder  J. W. Page  led me  into  the
pulpit. I opened the Bible to Ezekiel 16:1-6 and read those verses. I spoke
for about  ten minutes on  the subject of original sin and depravity. Amid
tears, I  took my seat with a mixed sense of relief and a realization  that a
heavy weight of  responsibility was being  assumed. From  this  time  forth
there has been no place to turn back.
In November  of  1948 Union  Church, while  in  regular  conference,
expressed  their  desire  that  I  should  be  set  apart  as  a  gospel  minister.
According  to  the  arrangements,  we  met  at  Union  Church,  Woodville,
Alabama,  in  the Mud Creek Association, on Sunday morning, December
5, 1948, at ten o’clock, for that purpose. The presbytery was composed of
the  following:  Elders  H.  P.  Houk,  John  Page,  H.  P.  Copeland,  K W.
Yeager, Henry Autry, B. A. Stephens, M. M. Morton, and sixteen deacons.
Elder Houk was  chosen  as moderator  and Brother W. M. Butler,  clerk.
The Moderator  appointed Elder Yeager  to  offer  prayer, Elder Autry  to
question the candidate; and Elder H. P. Copeland to deliver the charge.
I  have  served  as  a  pastor  of Union Church  continuously  from my
ordination to the present (February 1998). Through the years I have been
called at various other churches as pastor or to fill regular appointments.
Among these are Bethel, Mud Creek, Pilgrim’s Rest, Bethlehem, Sweeten’s
Cove,  Hurricane,  New  Home,  Mount  Pisgah  and  Macedonia.  At  the
present time I am serving Union Church and Macedonia Church.