On the third Sunday in January 2000, he began his tenure as the pastor of Grant Memorial A.M.E. Church in Chicago, IL being appointed there by Bishop Robert Thomas, Jr. He had a ministerial staff of 10, along with many ministries, clubs, and organizations that included early childhood development and housing for Chicago residents.
In November 2011, Dr. Thomas was assigned by Bishop John R. Bryant as the pastor of Vernon Chapel A.M.E. Church in Flint, MI, where he launched a program to retire their mortgage in four years. In his time there, the church saw a continued presence with the youth of Flint, Michigan and the regular study of the Word of God.
In March 2014, Dr. Thomas was sent to the pastorate of The Historic Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Detroit Michigan, the church of his youth. He immediately began reforms to the church's administration, the music department, and the building maintenance. He also led the church in its historic celebration of 50 years in its present location and continued awarding of scholarships to college bound youth. He also quickly established the Garfield Johnson Health Ministry to deal with health disparities among Detroit's residents.
Pastor Thomas, as he prefers to be called, has preached across the United States and abroad. He truly loves the preaching and teaching ministry. He is a proud life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, a 33rd Degree Prince Hall Mason, and Honorary Member of the Lions International, a member of the Connectional Council of the A.M.E. Church, a member of the Turner Theological Seminary Alumni Theta Phi Society for outstanding achievement in theological studies. He has received numerous awards for community and civic involvement.
Pastor Thomas is a proud family man. He is married to the former C. Ann Pettigrew of Pine Bluff Arkansas. They are blessed with six children. His family roots are in Alabama, where both his paternal and maternal grandfathers were preachers. The death of a son in 1997, Mickarl Thomas, Jr. almost destroyed Pastor Thomas and challenged his faith, However, he now preaches and teaches with a new conviction, and the blessed assurance that God is real. He is eternally grateful to the Almighty God for His power of deliverance and shelter in times of them storm.
Senior Pastor of Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, Detroit, Michigan
The Reverend Dr. Mickarl D. Thomas, Sr. was born in Detroit, MI and is a life long member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, majoring in Sociology and Speech, receiving his Bachelor's Degree in 1972. In 1969, he accepted the call to preach while he was an active youth member of Ebenezer A.M.E Church. The late Presiding Elder Matthew R. Rhonenee licensed him to preach on April 26, 1969, and he was admitted into the Michigan Annual Conference the same year. Dr. Fred Stephens, pastor of Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Detroit, Michigan, appointed him as Youth Pastor of the church in 1970. Dr. Thomas was ordained an itinerant deacon in 1970 and an itinerant elder in 1972.
In 1972, Dr. Thomas began his seminary training at Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia where he received a Masters of Divinity degree in 1975, graduating first in his class. During his senior year, Bishop Richard Allen Hildebrand assigned him as the pastor of Allen Temple A.M.E. Church in Columbus, Georgia. Because of his academic achievements and his outgoing personality, ITC hired him as Director of Recruitment and Alumni Affairs. When Bishop Hildebrand became bishop of the First Episcopal District in 1976, he assigned Dr. Thomas to Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Norristown, Pennsylvania, where he served for four and a half years. Dr. Thomas was a member of the Prison Board, Carver Community Center Board, and President of the local NAACP branch. While pastoring in Norristown, he began work on his doctoral degree at Drew Theological Seminary in New Jersey. Bishop Hildebrand later assigned him to the Historic Charles Street A.M.E. Church in Boston, Mass., where he served with distinction for 13 years. Rev. Thomas was the Protestant Chaplain for the Boston Police Department for 12 years and a Field Education Supervisor to theology students at Boston University School of Theology and Harvard's Divinity School. In 1986, his Doctor of Ministry Degree was conferred by Boston University's School of Theology, and he later earned a Master's in Public Administration at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Dr. Thomas lectured at the U.S. Navy Chaplain School in Newport Rhode Island, teaching an advanced course in African American Religion. In 1994, Bishop Phillip R. Cousin, Sr. appointed Dr. Thomas as pastor of Mount Pisgah A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia, PA , where he served for five and a half years. Major renovations were made to the church and parsonage, and a mid-week/mid-day Bible Study luncheon was instituted know has the "Hour of Power."
The Historic Ebenezer A.M.E. Church