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Remembering Bishop

On January 29, 2018, we celebrated the life and legacy of our late pastor,
Bishop Alexis A. Thomas (November 9, 1967 - January 18, 2018).
Scroll down to read obituary and watch homegoing service.

Bishop Alexis A. Thomas (November 9, 1967 - January 18, 2018).


BISHOP ALEXIS A. THOMAS was born in Chandler, Arizona on November 9, 1967 to Reverend and Mrs. Hubert Thomas. He is the third of four sons. At the early age of 7, Bishop Thomas received his license to preach the gospel. After serving as an Associate Minister at the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, he was named Senior Pastor at the age of 16; an historic event in the state of Arizona. He served as senior pastor for 33 years.

Under his leadership, Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church grew from 200 to over 4,000 members, which initiated the need for a new sanctuary. Bishop Thomas' vision was a three-pronged campus, which included a Worship Center, Word Center, and Wellness Center. Phase one of that vision came to fruition on Palm Sunday (April) of 2000, when the saints of Pilgrim Rest prayed and marched into their new, state-of-the-art Worship Center. Phase two, a three-story education and executive office complex was opened in 2003. This phase houses Teleos Preparatory Academy, a K-8 charter school. The Wellness Center was completed in 2007.



With sustaining growth, the Lord led Bishop Thomas to establish a satellite campus in Gilbert, Arizona in 2010.

Bishop was a proud graduate of South Mountain High School, Phoenix, Arizona in 1985. He held a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biblical Studies from Southwestern Christian University in Phoenix, Arizona, formerly known as Southwestern Bible College. Bishop Thomas also worked in the Arizona community in various capacities, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce. He was also General Chairman of the African American Christian Clergy Coalition, which he founded in 2001.

Bishop Thomas was ordained as bishop in the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship in November 2003 and faithfully served for 10 years. He later became a charter member of Global United Fellowship, served as the Senior Executive Assistant to Presiding Bishop Neil C. Ellis, and was also a member of the Governing Council of the fellowship. He was a spiritual son of Bishop Ellis since 2002. 


Bishop Thomas wrote and performed the song "Brand New Day" on the Pilgrim Rest Mass Choir CD, which was released in May of 2001. He founded the Fresh Rain Conference, which was inaugurated in January 2004. His vision for Fresh Rain comes from the charge "to make every year a new year and not the same year all over again." Bishop Thomas published his autobiography titled, "A Child Shall Lead Them" in 2005, which chronicles the first 36 years of his life.

Bishop Thomas leaves behind his beloved wife of 13 years, Dr. Michele Thomas; five boys Shimond Bradley (Tonya), Remone Bradley, Jamell Bradley, and twin boys, Micah Thomas and Micaiah Thomas; father, Reverend Hubert Thomas; and brother, Dervin Thomas (Sandra); paternal grandmother, Thelma Thomas; and five grandchildren; along with a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and friends. He is a dynamic preacher who is passionate about proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ to the masses. He was preceded in death by his mother, Barbara Thomas; and brothers, Andre Thomas and Timothy Thomas.