Evangelist Minnie L. Thomas transitioned peacefully from this life to eternity on Saturday, March 8, 2014, surrounded by her family.
Evangelist Thomas was born in Greenwood, Miss., to the late Vernon "Jack" Carlton and Evangelist Mattie (Shy) Carlton. She is a graduate of Morgan Park High School of Chicago, where she attended college and was employed with the Bell Telephone Co. She also served as a staff member for the Exceptional Educational Department of Chesterfield County Public Schools. Throughout her career, she served within various capacities supporting the public; within both, the corporate and educational settings. She was also a dedicated philanthropist that shared her time and talents with the world through various non-profit, academic, civic, and faith-based organizations.
Evangelist Thomas was married to the love of her life, the late Levi Major Thomas, for 32 years, during which time they upheld their vows to "love, honor, and cherish each other until death," as they displayed and established the foundation of a godly model of all that a marriage and family should be. She was a devoted mother to nine children: Kandise (Charles), Kara, Levi II (Shanta), Michael (Marquisha), Russell (Wendy), Kristi (Jimmie Jr.), David (Holly), Tomasita and Whitney.
She also opened her home, while serving as a therapeutic foster mother, to numerous at-risk youth; permanently transforming their lives. Evangelist Thomas' first ministry was that of her family, where she trained all of her children, both natural, foster and spiritual; in accordance with God's word in Proverbs 22:6 by instilling His word and ways in them early in life.
Evangelist Thomas accepted Christ early in life, and served in the church from her youth. She was a licensed missionary under the Church of God In Christ, C.O.G.I.C., where she served as a Sunday School teacher, Women's Department head and minister of the gospel. She is also the founder of New Beginnings International Ministries in Eden, N.C.; where she continued to operate in her evangelical calling of reaching out to the lost for Christ by finding needs and meeting them; focusing on women and youth. Evangelist Thomas spent countless hours visiting, encouraging, caring and praying for many. She was a distinguished orator of the gospel, preaching and teaching to thousands, both inside and outside the body of faith; sharing the Word of God in power, conviction, and truth for over three decades throughout the Midwest and East Coast. She was also a relentless prayer warrior that felt the burden of intercession on behalf of those that were oppressed and afflicted.
Evangelist Thomas not only served as a mother to her nine children, but also served as a spiritual mother to Patricia Mason, Jada Ibekwe, Tarshay Jones and countless others nationwide, providing Holy Spirit-lead guidance, protection and support for all those that she encountered.
Evangelist Thomas is survived by 13 grandchildren; Johlie, Trey, Illysia, Jayden, Liam, Levi, Armorel, Elijah, Ezra, Aline, Gage, Jimmie III and Nahla; her sisters, Mary Johnson (Clarence), Evelyn Harris (Sylvester), Pastor Dorothy Caffey (Eddie); and brother, Vernon Carlton; as well as those siblings that preceded her in death, Mattie Self and Willie Carlton (Maxine). She is remembered by a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, family, and friends that cherish and love her deeply.
Evangelist Minnie L. Thomas' life represents the epitome of the Proverbs 31 "Virtuous Woman" in every way for all that she touched with the love and power of Christ. As all those that love her mourn her passing, we also celebrate her legacy as a pillar of faith for generations to come.
The celebration of the life of Evangelist Minnie L. Thomas will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 14, 2014, at Center Star Baptist Church, 11627 Wheeler Pond Road, Dinwiddie, Va., and will be officiated by the Rev. Dr. Jimmie L. Walker Sr., where he and Associate Pastor Carrie Walker preside, and Pastor Dorothy A. Caffey, Universal Community Missionary Baptist Church, Chicago, eulogizing. Interment will be Sunset Memorial Park, Chester, Va. Public viewing will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 13, 2014, in the Petersburg Chapel. Funeral services under the direction of Joseph M. Johnson and Son Funeral Home, 530 S. Sycamore St., Petersburg, and will be open for viewing on Thursday, March 13, 2013.