Pastor Michael Thomas

Ellen Richardson | July 19th, 2021
Pastor Michael Thomas (Photos by Howard Gaither)

Pastor Michael Thomas (Photos by Howard Gaither)

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:48 KJV)

God has called so many special children to share the love of Jesus Christ with the world and one such beloved messenger is Love & Faith Christian Fellowship’s founder Pastor Michael Thomas. Born in Mt. Gilead, NC, this spiritual mentor has grown this area church from his family’s living room in Greensboro, NC to two church locations, with more than 3,000 members, in only 30 years. How? You might ask, has this ministry/church continued to grow despite economic downturns and even a worldwide pandemic? “I have always been more interested in growing people vs. growing a church,” Thomas explains. “Where some churches will do anything to increase their numbers, I have only been interested in helping children of God to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Much like the familiar story of David being anointed king, in 1 Samuel 16, this chosen lamb of God received a calling to be a spiritual leader at the tender age of 10-years-old, despite coming from a family of six brothers and sisters who could have easily been the chosen one. “As a child, my parents required all seven of us to attend church. One Sunday the mother of the church laid hands on me and told me ‘Son, the Lord is telling me that one day you are going to pastor a very large church,” said Thomas. “After this, I knew that I was called into ministry and that I was called by God to be a pastor.”

Just like the humble shepherd who was called to be the future king of Israel, this future pastor, would begin his career outside of the church. In fact, right after high school, Thomas joined the United States Air Force where he would be transferred from his small town in Montgomery County to Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. Despite this calling not coming to realization right away, the chosen man of God would not let the small start stop him from pursuing the dream that his Heavenly Father had put on his heart. “As soon as I arrived in San Antonio, I started to attend a small church of about 100 members. During my time of attending and volunteering there, I witnessed the church grow from 100 to well over 2,000 members,” exclaimed Thomas. “During this time, I learned a lot by watching, listening, and paying close attention to how the leaders of this church shared the love of Jesus with others.”

While attending this church, Thomas would not only learn how to become a successful pastor but would also meet his future wife. Shortly after the two were married, Pastor Thomas would be led by the Holy Spirit to return home to North Carolina. “After about 14 or 15 years I felt a strong leading from the Holy Spirit to move to Greensboro, NC to start a church from the ground up,” said Thomas.

Like many great spiritual leaders, Thomas and his family would start their new mission from a small beginning. “In 1990, we started an area Bible study, and this would eventually grow to Love & Faith Christian Fellowship,” he stated. Despite this church’s humble beginning, in less than a year this church grew from services in the Thomas home to services in a meeting room at a local hotel and eventually to the Carolina Theatre in downtown Greensboro. In less than 10 years, the church whose mission is to effectively develop spiritual leaders grew into its new brick and mortar location on Blackberry Road, in Greensboro, NC.

As a result of following his calling of becoming a loving pastor, Love & Faith has grown from three members to over 3,000 over the last 30 years, and two locations in both Greensboro and on Cinema Drive, in Kernersville, NC. “Along with seeing growth, we have also seen God’s hand of prosperity in this ministry,” stated Thomas.

The blessing that Pastor Thomas speaks about involves he and his church family operating both church campus locations without debt. “In 2017, God gave us the ability to pay off the debt owed for the church location in Greensboro, and the most incredible gift that He has also given this ministry is the ability to pay off the Kernersville location during the pandemic of 2020, which was a surprise to myself, our congregation and especially to our bankers,” said an elated Thomas.

As this area ministry continues to grow in its success, what is this man of God’s plan for the future of Love & Faith Christian Fellowship? “The truth is I have never had any goals for this church or ministry outside of growing people,” said Thomas. “I believe that all of God’s people are called to become disciples that help bring people from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity, and I get so much joy from helping someone in this way. I also believe that staying on this path will cause further growth for this ministry/church far into the future.”

Thomas’s discipleship focus has also led to the launching of Good Shepherds Fellowship International, which is a mentoring program for non-denominational pastors that teach them how to lead their flock using nine spiritual principles. “I started this program with a handful of area pastors and now we have pastors from 16 nations who are each learning how to become effective in their call to be good shepherds after the heart of God along with building strong and healthy churches to carry out the great commission for Christ,” he stated. “The best part of this program is we are able to teach these pastors free of charge, which is based on one of the spiritual principles that we teach – God’s will to provide for all of our needs.”

Along with this program as well as the 80+ ministries offered through this church; Love & Faith Christian Fellowship also began Eagles Nest Bible College. Created in 2002, the program whose goal is to effectively develop spiritual leaders by exemplifying God’s love and faith through teaching His Word and Christian fellowship has now become an accredited university under the Worldwide Accrediting Commission and is continuing to grow in popularity throughout the world. “This program has grown so much over the last several years that God has even made
it possible to establish Bible colleges all over the world,” said Thomas.

Just as God promised us, in the world you will have tribulation (John 16:33), and both Pastor Thomas and his church have not been exempted from this. “You really don’t have a relationship with God if you don’t go through some difficulties,” said Thomas. “Like many churches, we have had members come and members go throughout the years. Although it is difficult to let these people walk away, I have learned to love these people when they come and love them when they go. We have also dealt with making mistakes in trying to disciple people and have also come across challenges in building our church locations. Despite these challenges, God has shown us how to grow through each difficulty and has worked each one for His and our good.”

As Pastor Michael Thomas and his congregation continue to celebrate their 30th anniversary, we thank them for their service to the Triad area as well as all over the world and we look forward to hearing more about Love & Faith Christian Fellowship and its fearless leader far into the future.

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