Rev. John Ed Thomas, retired pastor


HATTIESBURG — The Rev. John Ed Thomas III, 70, a pastor in the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church, died Nov. 24, 2007, at his residence.

Services were held Nov. 26 at Parkway Heights United Methodist Church with the Revs. Eddie Rester and Claire Dobbs officiating. Interment was in Lakewood Memorial Park in Jackson on Nov. 27. Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home in Hattiesburg is in charge of arrangements.

A native of Woodville, Rev. Thomas held the Bachelor of Arts from Millsaps College and the Master of Divinity from Emory University. He served the Mississippi Conference from 1962-2002.

He served first as associate pastor at Gulfport First United Methodist Church and subsequently held pastorates at Satartia Charge in Yazoo County, Gautier UMC, Ocean Springs St. Paul UMC, Parkway Heights UMC, Gulfport First UMC and Columbus First UMC. Prior to his term in Columbus he was superintendent of East Jackson District.

Rev. Thomas served for many years on the board of trustees of Millsaps College, in addition to terms on the boards of Methodist Hospital in Hattiesburg, the Methodist Medical Center in Jackson and the Methodist-LeBonheur Healthcare Foundation in Memphis.

He represented the Mississippi Conference as a delegate to two jurisdictional conferences and one General Conference. He served as chairman of the boards of directors of Seashore Assembly and the Mississippi Methodist Credit Union and member of the boards of Ordained Ministry and Pensions, the Conference Council on Ministries and the committees on the Episcopacy and Group Insurance.

He was a member of the Rotary Club of Hattiesburg and had earlier served as president of the Ocean Springs Rotary Club.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Edward Thomas Jr. and Ora Ella Huff Thomas and one sister Dean T. Jarreau.

Survivors include: wife, Margaret Ewing Thomas; daughters Susan Stilmman of Humble, Texas, Molly Ewing Thomas of Nashville; and son, John Edward Thomas IV of Dallas.

Memorials may be made to the building fund or the Edwards Street Ministry of Parkway Heights United Methodist Church, 2420 Hardy St., Hattiesburg, MS 39401, or the Michael Bufkin Scholarship Fund of the Mississippi Boychoir, in care of Patricia Sherman at Parkway Heights UMC.