Bio and Dissertation of Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas
Reverend Dr. Neil G Thomas
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Queer Theology – The Dissertation of Reverend Dr. Neil G. Thomas
Reverend Dr. Neil G. Thomas is currently the Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church, Los Angeles, the founding church of Metropolitan Community Churches, an international movement of churches reaching in and beyond the gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, and inter-sex community.
Reverend Thomas has been a member of Metropolitan Community Churches since 1981, joining the church on his fifteenth birthday! He has served in numerous denominational positions including Chair, Board of Ordained Ministries (European District), Member, Elder’s Task Force on Education, Member, European District Committee, Member, Board of Samaritan College in Europe, Supervising Pastor, and Ecumenical Officer. More recently he has served on the Moderator’s Advising Team and consultant to the Office of Formation and Leadership Development.
As a native of Bournemouth, England, Reverend Thomas was born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His family left the Mormon Church in his early years. He attended St John’s Theological College (Church of England), La Saint Union (Roman Catholic) and King Alfred’s College, and graduated with a BA (M. Div [USA equiv]). In 2002 he enrolled in the Doctoral program at San Francisco Theological College (Presbyterian) He graduated with his Doctor of Ministry in October 2009.
Reverend Thomas served as the Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church, Bournemouth following his Ordination, serving in this capacity for 12 years. He was instrumental in founding churches in Southampton, Brighton, Dorchester, and Torquay, (England). In 2002 he answered a call to ministry in Los Angeles where he continues to serve as Senior Pastor.
Well known for his social activism he has been instrumental in feeding programs for the homeless, night and day shelters, safer sex initiatives, establishing relations with police and LGBTQ communities, Over the Rainbow, (a drop in center offering counseling, support and information), LGBTQ youth services, as well as challenging laws that continue discrimination and intolerance. He also served as Chaplain to the Sanctuary (an HIV/AIDS hospice), five drug and alcohol rehab houses, Women’s Refuge, as well as Chaplain to the Mayor of Bournemouth. He also served as Chair of Relate (Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch) – a relationship counseling organization.
In 1998 he was honored by an invitation from HM Queen Elizabeth II to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his work in the Bournemouth community.
Reverend Thomas is a contributing author of “Daring to Speak Love’s Name”, and “From Queer to Eternity”. He has also been featured in a number of journals relating to queer theology and ministry to the LGBTQ community.
As Senior Pastor of MCCLA, Reverend Thomas is building a strong community of faith that is firmly rooted in the call to be ministers in the world. He believes that God is calling us all to make a difference and to reach the world, one life at a time.
Reverend Thomas currently serves as President of California Faith for Equality, an interfaith coalition that is building a strong voice in bringing about Marriage Equality and LGBTQQI equality in California. He served as President of the Los Angeles LGBTQI Clergy Council until June 2010.
Reverend Thomas was awarded the Harvey Milk Award by Christopher Street West in June 2010 and in July 2010 he was honored by his denomination with the 2010 Ecumenical Award.