The ministry God gave to His children through Bro. C. Parker Thomas spanned more than half a century. Despite humble beginnings it now reaches around the world by various means.
Born in 1919 in northern Florida, USA, Bro. Thomas was put through a difficult “school” by the God who would later reveal Himself to him. Due to a broken home his childhood consisted of being “bounced around” from one place to another. No doubt this contributed to his public school education being cut short. In addition to his having no real home, the Great Depression came along and made life difficult as it did for so many.
His experiences included life in an orphanage, tuberculosis, a bad auto accident that all but took his life and brought about terrible suffering, as well as the heartache of the broken home. God had a great design in all of these experiences, however. Among other things, they served to soften and prepare his heart for the ministry that lay ahead, though he was not aware of it at the time. The things he went through gave Bro. Thomas a great compassion and understanding of others in the difficult things they experience in this life.
He testified that even as a boy he had a fear of God that caused him to reflect seriously at times about the things of God and being right with Him and ready to face eternity. He even recalled discussing being born again with his wife and others on various occasions. However it was not yet time. God chose to reveal Himself to Bro. Thomas when he was on up in his twenties and married with two children.
When the appointed time came he found himself in a gospel meeting in which he was basically tricked into coming forward in response to the invitation! When he protested that he hadn’t come there to join their church, he was taken into a side room where the minister talked with him privately. When he was asked if he wanted to be saved, he replied, “Sure.” Then the Lord caused the minister to put the question a little differently. He said, “No, I mean do you want to be saved NOW?” That question, inspired of the Lord, caused Bro. Thomas to reach the point of surrender.
When he surrendered he experienced a peace he had never had before and his spiritual eyes were opened. He wondered why he had taken so long, why he hadn’t seen before. The truth is that no one can see or come unless they are drawn to Christ by the Father. John 6:44.
He was born into the Kingdom with a burning desire to share Christ with others. Early on it became evident that he had a gift from God to preach, not with mere eloquence, or even perfect understanding, but with a God-given anointing to reach down into people’s hearts with the claims of Christ and to edify and help believers.
Although he desired to flow with those he was a part of and cooperate with them it wasn’t long before his desire to please Christ and to have a good conscience in what he believed and saw in the scriptures brought him into conflict with those in authority in that particular denomination. Basically, they withdrew support and fellowship.
Although Bro. Thomas was at first hurt and discouraged at this turn of events, God was in control and was separating him from the systems and traditions of men that He might teach him and prepare him to give forth a greatly needed message to help prepare the Elect for the coming of Christ.
After an eight-week revival in North Carolina in 1953 resulted in a new church, Bro. Thomas settled down for a number of years to learn of the Lord and to shepherd the flock. The Bible Tabernacle in Southern Pines, North Carolina is still the “mother church” of the ministry.
As the Lord taught him and continued to show him what the Word actually taught in contrast to the many and varied traditions in religion, he continued to reach out in a desire to help God’s people. In 1957 he started a paper called the Midnight Cry Messenger that has gone ever since to most parts of the world. Collections of articles became books. This outreach has resulted in contact and fellowship with brethren in many parts of the world that continues to this day.
For many years Bro. Thomas also reached out through radio, beginning on local stations. In recent years, however, this has grown, without special effort on our part, into a worldwide outreach, including several short-wave stations. After years of seasoning and teaching, and at a time in life when he had begun to feel the effects of age and infirmity, Bro. Thomas found that the Lord was intervening to anoint Him with a message needed by His people and to bring about the means to send forth that message.
The next surprise was an opportunity to reach out through cable and satellite TV, something not dreamed of in earlier years, that people in other places could share in the rich anointed ministry God was giving. This television ministry has since grown to become international.
For more than 35 years, audio recordings have been made of services and many of these have been shared with those on the mailing list. With the advent of TV, of course, the services are video recorded and thus are available in both audio (CD) and video (DVD). Recent services are typically available for watching and listening online as well. We regularly receive letters from those expressing thankfulness to God for the opportunity to share the ministry in this way.
Today there are four local assemblies in the U.S. as well as many friends and brethren in other places, both here and abroad. The Lord has enabled our own people to support these outreach efforts so that we could freely offer them without gimmicks and begging to raise money.
Over the years many people have come to faith and found spiritual rest as a result of the ministry of Christ through Bro. Thomas. The glory goes to Christ. We desire to share Christ’s blessings with all whose hearts are open to Him. Consider what you find here. Pray about it. Search the scriptures. Feel free to contact us.