About Our Pastor
Cleveland A. Thompson
“I stand before you today as Pastor Crackpot.” The congregation roared with laughter. “You want to know the truth about it, you’re just Deacon Crackpot, Sister Crackpot, Brother Crackpot, Choir Member Crackpot. Because God does the paradoxical thing; He says, ‘I am so much God, that I can put My glory into broken vessels!’”
It is this kind of pointed, colorful oratory that makes The Bishop Cleveland A. Thompson’s sermons so memorable. Humor is typically the tip of his sword, along with universal, real-world applications of biblical precepts that help reveal truth and God’s saving grace to us in new ways. “Before the airline would allow me to travel from point A to point B, I first had to take responsibility for my own bag,”
Bishop Thompson said, preaching that morning about discipleship and personal accountability, jabbing a cautionary finger at his Emmanuel family, “Check your bags.”
“Miracles often happen in quiet spaces. Not in the glare of celebrity or even in the comfort of luxury. But among the poor and desperate. Among the homeless, in a garage, in the cold. David asked, ‘Who is this King of glory?’”
– The Reverend Cleveland A. Thompson
“The black church in America is being challenged to define and, in some cases, re-define itself in these challenging times,” Bishop Thompson says. “It’s no longer good enough to just come in here once a week and go through the motions.” The church, once the center of African American life, must now earn its place by being relevant and productive. “Emmanuel’s ministry focuses on three key areas of healthy and productive Christian life: Spiritual Development, Temple Restoration and Community Involvement. The three are interlinked, each one empowering the next.”
Bishop Thompson is both a thoughtful and articulate man possessed of a soft-spoken humility that provides ballast to the declarative thunder of his proclamation of God’s eternal and infallible truth. Thompson is a trusted friend, a cherished brother, and now an honored pastor who leads not by imperial decree but by humble supplication; Thompson inspires by putting hands and feet to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Moving Forward: The Latter House
“I want to talk about progress,” Thompson said during planning sessions for the church’s anniversary, where each year a new theme is adopted. “The black church—the black community—has long existed within a culture of survival. It’s time to move past survival into investment.” Which led Thompson to the book of Haggai, the prophet sent to urge the people of Israel to rebuild Solomon’s ruined temple, prophesying that the glory of the new temple—what Haggai called “The Latter House” —would surpass that of the old one. Emmanuel has subsequently adopted the sobriquet, The Latter House, as part of their ongoing theme.
“Miracles often happen in quiet spaces,” Thompson was quoted his first Christmas as pastor. “Not in the glare of celebrity or even in the comfort of luxury. But among the poor and desperate. Among the homeless, in a garage, in the cold. David asked, ‘Who is this King of glory?’”
As Emmanuel advances through the latest evolution of our service to God and the Colorado Springs community, we could not hope for a finer example of the love and redeeming power of Jesus Christ.