Overseer Willie Thomas and his wife Mother Gail Thomas are among 30 original members of the Outreach Evangelistic Church of Christ of the Apostolic Faith. The mission was originally founded in early 1980’s by the mother of Bishop Thomas, the late State Mother Katherine Thomas. State Mother Katherine Thomas, affectionately known as Polly, responded to a vision and a call from the Lord to establish an outreach ministry.
As the ministry experienced early growth, it found itself going through a sudden transition without a pastor. Her son Willie was playing the guitar every Sunday while his wife led a highly anointed praise and worship service. The late Chief Apostle Lymus Johnson, the Presider and founder of the Evangelistic Churches of Christ, ordained Willie Thomas in an evening service in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the first Deacon to this ministry.
In a very short time after, Willie Thomas being ordained a Deacon began to see additional growth in the Outreach mission. The late Apostle Johnson looked on Deacon Thomas leading the flock of God's people in a growing mission and firmly declared him an Elder to Pastor God’s people.
From day one Bishop Thomas delivered an anointed, spirited message and continues to serve in the ministry. He was ordained by Apostle Lymus Johnson as Pastor, an Elder and then later as Bishop of the Outreach Evangelistic Church of Christ of the Apostolic Faith. Most importantly, no one foresaw that Bishop Thomas would soon become the successor of the late Apostle Lymus Johnson as Overseer and leader of the National body for the Evangelistic Churches of Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc. Through his years in leadership as pastor to the local membership in Cleveland, overseeing the National organization for the Evangelistic Churches of Christ, Bishop Thomas helped to refocus the evangelical mission of the National organization by adding international ministries, increased the national fellowship amongst churches within the Pentecostal Apostolic body , became a member of the Cleveland Apostolic Ministerial Fellowship (CAMF) and established a nonprofit called the Sons of Levi (SOL).
The Sons of Levi was started from a concern Bishop Thomas had when he surveyed the struggles men were having in their homes, workplaces, and everyday life. Sons of Levi is a local Outreach brotherhood ministry which mentors brothers seeking Christ while strengthening relationships as they move into greater works for the Lord. The Lord showed Bishop Thomas that without harsh judgement, men need a support group to confidentially run to for strength, prayer, and support. The mission for this nonprofit is “To see men as God sees them, find treasure in the trash. See their potential to draw them out and develop them.” Simultaneously, Mother Gail carries out leadership and mission work among the women and newcomers in the church with a focus on spiritual growth, family development, and health awareness.
Through the work the Lord established in these two servants, Bishop and Mother Gail Thomas, they have worked to win many souls for the Lord Jesus. Many have been witnesses to the miraculous conversions of what man counted worthless to what God called worthy in this ministry. Countless men have received their calling into the ministry which has birthed other ministries locally and across our nation. Most importantly souls have been baptized and received the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, families have been healed, delivered from drug addiction, healed of incurable diseases, gainfully self-employed and now each soul has become a greater witness to the change this ministry has brought to their lives.
The bible says in Mark 16:17 KJV, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues…” All of these works declare the ultimate goal of saving souls, lifting up the Lord, and bringing in souls to the wonderful and matchless name of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.