Derek Thomas Called as Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC

At a meeting of the congregation of First Presbyterian (ARP) in Columbia, SC on Sunday Morning, March 27, Dr. Derek Thomas, currently on the faculty at RTS Jackson and Minister of Teaching at First Presbyterian (PCA) in Jackson was approved as the new Associate Pastor at FPC Columbia

Thomas will begin his duties after the conclusion of the seminary Spring semester; the expected date is June 1. The job description for the candidate indicated that the new Associate Pastor would carry a heavy load of preaching, most likely similar to that Thomas had been doing with Lig Duncan in Jackson.

RTS has confirmed that Thomas as agreed to remain as a high-useage Adjunct Faculty. He will teach most regularly at the Atlanta campus, but will also be available to teach at the other campuses when needed.

Here is the report of the search committee which presented Dr. Thomas as their candidate:

Derek Thomas currently serves as the John E. Richards Professor of Theology and Chairman of the Department of Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and as Minister of Teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi. Formerly minister of Stranmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church (1979-1996), Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a widely published author and editor, and a preacher whose ministry has been appreciated throughout the world.

Derek—who is Welsh—and his wife Rosemary—who is from Northern Ireland—met at the University of Wales where both studied Mathematics (Rosemary studying Pure Math and Derek Applied Math). After studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson (during Dr de Witt’s time as Professor of Systematic Theology), he and Rosemary served for seventeen years in Belfast on the edge of the campus of The Queen’s University, the major university in Northern Ireland—through a period of great political tension in the country.

In 1996 Derek was called to teach at Reformed Seminary, and since 2000 has, in addition, been Minister of Teaching at First Presbyterian Church, Jackson. His preaching and teaching as well as his pastoral ministry have been richly blessed by God and widely appreciated throughout the United States, Europe, and indeed beyond.

Rosemary and Derek have two grown children, Ellen and Owen. Still at home are Jake the dog and Chloe the cat! Derek has a remarkable knowledge of music; Rosemary is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.

The search committee has worked prayerfully, diligently, and patiently over these past eighteen months, believing that in due course God would lead them to the man of his appointing and would touch that person’s heart, and give him a desire to be part of our life together here in Columbia. Their unanimous conviction led them to ask Derek and Rosemary to allow them to present Derek as their candidate.

The committee has felt a sense of awe and wonder in God’s leading of themselves and of Derek and Rosemary. Now that this stage has been reached they are profoundly grateful to God for the privilege of having served and for the joy they felt in presenting and enthusiastically recommending that Dr. Derek Thomas be called to serve the congregation of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia.

Following are highlights from Dr. Thomas’s c.v.

PERSONAL

Born: February 7, 1953
Married: July 31, 1976
Rosemary Iris Thomas (McCullough)
Children: Ellen Lockington (Thomas) of Glasgow, Scotland
Owen Thomas of Jackson, MS
Grandchildren: Hannah May Lockington
Daniel Thomas Lockington
Nationality: British (US Permanent Resident)
Ordination: September 1979
Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ireland
Current Church Affiliation: Presbyterian Church in America

EDUCATION

Ph.D, Historical and Theological Studies,
University of Wales (Lampeter), 2000

M.Div., Reformed Theological Seminary,
Jackson, Mississippi, 1978

B.Sc. (Hons), Applied Mathematics,
University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1974