The Reverend Dr. J. Madison Thomas, Jr WHERE LOVE IS IN ACTION
The Reverend Dr. J. Madison Thomas, Jr., is a native of Montpelier, Virginia and hails from a family of Pastors and Preachers. Pastor Thomas’ father and uncles either currently pastor or have pastored churches in Virginia.  Pastor Thomas encountered the Lord at the age of nine (9) and was baptized at Bethany Baptist Church in his home town. Pastor Thomas was licensed to preach the Gospel by Bethany Baptist on May 10, 1974 when he was nineteen (19) years old.  Bethany Baptist Church also ordained him on April 2, 1976. His work in the ministry spans almost forty years of service. Pastor Thomas is the former pastor of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church of Mont-pelier, VA, where he was installed in May 1976.  Pastor Thomas became the youngest pastor of Mt. Olivet and served the congregation and community with distinction and honor for seven (7) years. 
Under Pastor Thomas’s leadership, a new church edifice was both constructed and paid for. More than twenty years later, the building continues to meet the needs of the church community. Pastor Thomas has made use of his training in church design and construction to serve as a consultant for many other church construction and renovation projects. On September 9, 1984, Pastor Thomas accepted the call to pastor Ebenezer Baptist Church on Q Street, NW in the nation’s capital.  Again, he became the youngest pastor in the history of a church.  In his brief four (4) years at Ebenezer Baptist he led the church to levels of growth and development that the church had not experienced before. After leaving Ebenezer, Pastor Thomas organized the Gospel Missionary Baptist Church in far Northeast Washington, DC (1989). Under Pastors leadership, Gospel Missionary developed a unique and challenging ministry based in evangelism and discipleship. The Kenilworth neighborhood, in which the church was located, has publically recognized Pastor Thomas for the progressive transformation of the people and the place due to his willingness to become personally involved in street ministry. Pastor Thomas is affectionately known as the “Preacher’s Preacher”, having been embraced by pastors and churches across the nation.  He is in high demand, and organizations seek him out for his expertise in preaching and teaching, and for his finely-honed facilitation skills. Pastor Thomas has brought that same expertise to Riverside Baptist Church of Fort Washington, Maryland.  Pastor Thomas became the second pastor of Riverside Baptist Church and was installed on April 1, 2007.  His first sermon, “Where Do We Go from Here” (based in Proverbs 3:5-6) has proven to be the catalyst for the present growth and prosperity of the church. Fueled by God’s new plan and our Pastor’s vision and passion, Riverside Baptist has undergone miraculous changes which have resulted in an increased harvest and an influx of laborers. Under the leadership of Pastor Thomas, God has challenged Riverside to embrace new ways of doing and being.  Over the past six years Pastor Thomas has provided dynamic venues for preaching, teaching, and worshiping. Each venue has been created to meet the needs of present (and future) members—regardless of their ages. These venues include, but are not limited to: Adult Bible Study, Bible Boot Camp, Children’s Bible Study, Children’s Church, Discipleship Class, Men’s Fellowship, Mid-Day Bible Study, Mid- Week Worship, Ministry of Movement, Wed Night Bible Study, Senior’s Ministry, Security Ministry, Sunday Biblical Institute, Women’s Ministry, Youth Bible Study.
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Pastor Thomas believes the entire Bible and stands on Acts 2:17, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (NKJ).  In 2008, Pastor Thomas licensed the first of many female ministers to serve at Riverside; and in 2011 he continued to breakdown gender barriers by appointing the first female deacon in the church’s history.   God continues to multiply and diversify the Riverside family as Pastor Thomas welcomed the first junior minister-in-training in early 2012. Pastor Thomas teaches that everything Jesus said and did had a redemptive purpose—we too, must be purposeful in our walk.  All that we say and do must be done to the glory of God, and Pastor Thomas’ vision helps to focus the church’s efforts.  From the beginning of his ministry Pastor Thomas’ direction has not changed.  He continues to concentrate on discipleship, evangelism, and the development of the individual member toward the edification of the whole body which is the Church.  Riverside Baptist Church is thriving under Pastor Thomas’ leadership. Pastor Thomas is a graduate of: Columbia Pacific University, Bachelor of Arts; Virginia Seminary and College, Masters of Divinity; American Bible College and Seminary, Masters of Arts; Baptist Christian University, Master of Arts; and Virginia Seminary and College, Doctorate of Divinity. Pastor Thomas is happily married to the beautiful and gracious Rev. Lydia Renee White Thomas who serves as the Minister of Music for Riverside Baptist Church.  Pastor Thomas is the proud father of an adult son, Jamie “Shawn” Thomas, and one wonderful grandson Adrean.
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