MARY LEE TALBOT – STAFF WRITER
On his website, the Rev. Frank A. Thomas calls himself a preacher, teacher, scholar, lecturer and master coach.
“Coaching,” he writes, “is about the discovery and implementation of choice. People and organizations get mired down in the anxious details of their own lives and businesses and forget that they have choice. As a result, many people and organizations lose their true passion and engagement. Coaching helps them to remember, create and access available choices, as well as foster the accountability that helps them implement their choices for passionate engagement.”
And he is particularly passionate about coaching pastors and coaching in the area of preaching.
Thomas will serve as chaplain-in-residence at Chautauqua Institution during Week Five. He will preach at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday ecumenical worship service in the Amphitheater. His sermon topic is “Did Heaven Make A Mistake?” He will also preach at the 9 a.m. Monday through Friday morning worship services in the Amp. His sermon topics include “Our Daily Bread,” “What About the Children?,” “Try Easy,” “What is Truth?” and “A Grain of Sand.”
Thomas currently serves as the director of the doctoral program in African American preaching and sacred rhetoric and as the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. For many years, Thomas has also taught preaching to doctoral and master’s level students at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee, and United Theological Seminary of Dayton, Ohio. He is the CEO of Hope for Life International, which formerly published The African American Pulpit.
Thomas also serves as a member of the International Board of Societas Homiletica, an international society of teachers of preaching.
Thomas is the author of numerous books, including American Dream 2.0: A Christian Way Out of the Great Recession, The God of the Dangerous Sermon, Surviving a Dangerous Sermon, How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon and Introduction to the Practice of African American Preaching. He was co-editor of Preaching with Sacred Fire: An Anthology of African American Sermons 1750 to the Present with Martha Simmons.
Thomas has served as pastor for two congregations: New Faith Baptist Church of Matteson, Illinois, for 18 years and Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church of Memphis, Tennessee, for 13 years.
He holds a doctorate in communications from the University of Memphis, a doctor of divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary, doctor of ministry degrees from Chicago Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary, a master of divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary and a master of arts in African-Caribbean Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.