The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend W. James Thomas

Shiloh Church of Memphis
Memphis, TN

Sponsor: Rep. Steve Cohen, (D-TN)
Date of Prayer: 03/12/2008

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Cohen) is recognized for 1 minute.

There was no objection.

Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, our pastor today was Pastor W . James Thomas , II.

Pastor Thomas is God's visionary for Shiloh Church of Memphis, located in Memphis, Tennessee. Serving as pastor since 1994, his consistent obedience to God has taken the Shiloh congregation from glory to glory. The membership has grown from 75 to 600 and counting. During these years, Pastor Thomas has been preaching and teaching God's uncompromising Word with a boldness that has changed the lives of the people at Shiloh and throughout the country.

To accommodate the vision and growth of the church membership, Pastor Thomas led the congregation in the acquisition of a 19,000 square foot worship and educational facility in 1998. In 2003, the sanctuary was completely renovated and office complex expanded.
Spiritually, Pastor Thomas was saved and received much of his spiritual development in the Church of God in Christ. He was called to the ministry at the age of 14 and began pastoring at the age of 18 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He graduated cum laude from Crichton College in Memphis with a bachelor of science degree in Biblical studies and is currently a candidate for the master of divinity degree. He has also attended and received degrees from Harvard University and Yale University, where he had completed the first Graduate School of Theological Studies' special intensive course at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge and the Yale School of Divinity in September 2006.

He's very active in our community in Memphis, Tennessee. He is married to Minister Antonia R. Thomas , who serves alongside him in the ministry. And even possibly as important or more important than this congregation, he has two children. One is Private First Class Reginald Cleveland, who is an officer and security person for this Chamber, from Memphis, Tennessee, who is here today; and he has a daughter in middle school.

I appreciate Pastor Thomas serving the United States House of Representatives as our pastor this morning.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Gracious God, we come before You today to praise You for Your goodness to our nation and for blessing us in ways we do not deserve. We celebrate the diversity of languages and cultures that have shaped and enriched our national life. With the many problems we face in our nation, we thank You for leaders who are passionate about our nation’s future. And now dear God, give us Your light and Your truth to guide us. Keep our faces toward you and our feet in paths of righteousness. Give our nation’s leaders the fortitude to stand strong for what is right. Keep us, sustain us, and do not allow us to lose sight of You. Deliver us from sin, pardon all our offences and absolve us from all wickedness. Grant us the highest joy, that of glorifying and enjoying You. This we pray in your holy Name, Amen.

To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory