Matthew A. Thomas has been an active part of the Free Methodist Church since 1979, serving in a variety of roles that include pastor, church planter, missionary and superintendent. He has served throughout the Columbia River Conference, the Northern Philippine Conference, and on many denominational boards, committees and task forces. Matt was consecrated as bishop of FMCUSA on July 13, 2007.
A passionate commitment to evangelism, discipleship and leadership development has been foundational for Matt’s life in ministry. He has been actively engaged in sharing Christ with the unsaved, praying with them to receive salvation and helping them grow to maturity.
Bishop Thomas has been married to Marlene for nearly 40 years. They have three sons and one daughter – Luke (Jennifer), Mitch, Sam and Charese (David). Mitch departed this earth in September 2008 to serve as full-time worshipper of God around the throne. They are blessed that all are serving in ministry either as volunteers or vocationally. They also have five beautiful granddaughters (Jalen, Jordan, Callia, Mikaela and Katelin) and three handsome grandsons (Andrew, Eli and Asher).
Summary Biography and Work History
- Born: September 9, 1955, in Modesto, California to Edward and Barbara Thomas
- Conversion: May 1974, Wenatchee, WA Free Methodist Church
- Elementary and Secondary School: Omak, WA public schools
- College: Bth (1979), Aldersgate College, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
(non degree courses taken from Spokane Community College, Fort Wright College)
- Seminary: Mdiv (1982), Western Evangelical Seminary, Portland, OR
- Dmin course work completed (1996), Northwest Graduate School of the Ministry,
- Married: June 26, 1976, to Marlene Ruth Meeds (Free Methodist Member from New Westminster, BC, Canada) in British Columbia
- Four Children: Luke (b Nov. 11, 1978), Mitchell (b September 18, 1980, d September 23, 2008), Samuel (b May 22, 1982), Charese (b February 27, 1985)
- Became a member in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Free Methodist Church 1977
- Conference Ministerial Candidate, June 1980, Oregon Conference
- Ordained Deacon, June 1982, Columbia River Conference at Camp Sanders
- Ordained Elder, June 1984, Columbia River Conference at Camp Sanders
- Assistant Pastor, Beaverton (OR) Free Methodist Church, Oregon Conference (1979-1982)
- Senior Pastor, Fruitland (ID) Free Methodist Church, Columbia River Conference (1982-1987)
- Senior Pastor, Opportunity (Spokane, WA) Free Methodist Church, Columbia River Conference (1987-1990)
- Missionary of the Free Methodist Church to the Philippines (1990-1993). Roles included president of John Wesley Bible College, professor at Light and Life Graduate School, urban church planter (Bacood, San Juan, Sikatuna, Letre, Cruz na Ligas), conference superintendent of the Northern Philippines Conference (1992-1993), initial convener of Asia Pacific Free Methodist Missions Agency, missionary trainer, urban church planting trainer.
- Church Planter/founding pastor, Timberview Christian Fellowship: A Free Methodist Congregation (Spokane, WA) 1993-2007
- Stationed Superintendent (Columbia River Conference) 1998-1999
- Stationed Superintendent (Columbia River Conference) 2004, 2005 & 2006
Bishop, FMCUSA 2007- Current
Other offices held in the FMCNA through the years:
- Chairman – FMCNA Missions Committee – 2000-2003
- Member of the Study Commission on Doctrine – 1995-present
- Chairman of Commission on Leadership Development – 2007-present
- Church growth and church planting consultant, 1994-2007
- Board and Committee Chair and member of various boards and committees for the
- Columbia River Conference 1984-2007
- General Conference Delegate 1989, 1994, 1999, 2003, 2007