No one person exemplifies the personality of the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church better than its Senior Pastor, Cleveland A. Thompson. His high-energy, down- to-earth manner of elucidating the word of God has come to define the Emmanuel experience and his Liberty, Mississippi roots are evident in the southern drawl and vernacular he often slips into when preaching.
Pastor Thompson was born on July 7, 1958 in Liberty, Mississippi to the late David L. Thompson Sr. and Vivian N. Thompson. He began his personal walk with Christ at age 10 at the Liberty Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. William H. Tobias.
Cleveland honourably served twenty four years in the United States Air Force, retiring in 2001 at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.
In Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10, 12 (ESV), the holy text tells us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up … A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
At age 20, Cleveland united in holy matrimony with the former Bernice Bates and their union has blessed them with four children, Duriel, Shawndell, Dana, and Jacey.
Cleveland’s life of Christian service continued when he was ordained as Deacon on April 12, 1987 at the Traditional Gospel Church, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, by Rev. Dr. Alexander Tate. And on May 23, 1993 Deacon Thompson answered the Call to preach the Gospel and was licensed at The Greater Strangers Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Worth Texas, under the leadership of Pastor R. E. West.
Reverend Thompson united with Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church in 1994 and was appointed as First Assistant to the Pastor in July of 1999, to which he was ordained and commissioned on October 24, 1999. Committed to following the direction of the Holy Spirit, Reverend Cleveland Thompson was called to the pastorate by the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church congregation on October 30, 2006, and preached his first sermon as the Senior Pastor Sunday, November 5, 2006.
Pastor Cleveland Thompson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Phoenix in 1998 and in May 2009 earned a Master of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry from the New Geneva Theological Seminary of Colorado Springs.
Pastor Thompson’s Christian service is not confined to Emmanuel. He is affiliated with the following professional organizations:
The National Baptist Convention, USA Inc
The Western States Convention of Colorado and Wyoming
The Western States Congress of Christian Education
The Southern District Association
The Southern Colorado Ministerial Union (SCMU)
The Hampton University Minister’s Conference
Kingdom Builders Global Fellowship
These associations and memberships allow Pastor Thompson and Emmanuel to have a national and international impact as he seeks to fulfil the Great Commission (Mark 16:15).
Pastor Thompson has a heart for God’s people and his caring, compassionate leadership has caused Emmanuel to grow, spiritually and physically, and to reach far beyond the walls of the buildings. We at Emmanuel are blessed and highly favoured of God to call him Pastor!