Alumnus Terrence Thomas: Do not put God in a box


Terrence Thomas, an EAST alumnus who graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry, recently made a trip back to Singapore with his wife Tamara (a VP in HR at an MNC) from the US. EAST News took the opportunity to catch up with this beautiful African American couple to find out what God is doing in their lives and ministry.

Below is a short interview with them.

Q: What have you been up to since your graduation from EAST in 2016?

A: My hometown is Connecticut but Tamara and I went back to Cincinnati in Ohio to settle down back in 2016 and I was on staff with Citygate Church from 2018-2020 before being ordained as a Care Pastor in 2021. During Covid, ministry went virtual but we were also doing food pantry and also delivering food to needy people. Our church was providing groceries and even toilet paper to people around us (remember the toilet paper shortages?). The smaller churches were also able to use facilities and resources from Citygate Church. Our church has over 3,000 members and 21 Care Pastors led by Pastors Eric & Kim Petree. It is a non-denominational church which has a vision of being “a church that looks like heaven.” Tamara and I counsel new couples, or couples in distress by journeying with them. I (Terrence) conduct weddings, officiate at funerals, and doing care visits plus a lot of behind the scenes work in the church.

Q: How has your time at EAST, specifically the multi-cultural environment, help you in your current role as a care pastor?

A: EAST is a mission hub in itself and it made me comfortable with all kinds of people. EAST helped made me and Tamara gravitate towards those that don’t look like us. It made our eyes different and made us realise how big the Kingdom is. We are all connected to the same God.  There was this particular experience at a Mentoring Group Retreat, where a Japanese couple Shinri and Mariko prayed for me (Terrence) and Mariko was praying (in Japanese) and we could receive the prayers in the spirit even though we could not understand Japanese. It was a unique experience in the Lord.

Q: What were your top 3 takeaways from your time at EAST?

A: First, I was inspired by the staff and faculty. It was my first time being introduced to Cru and how they raised funds. Meeting faculty like Dr Rick Langston and Dr Keith Shubert, and the calling that faculty and staff say yes to in serving God, inspired me.

Second, the family oriented atmosphere at EAST and how welcoming everyone is and I still keep in touch with my classmates. We also made lifelong friends at EAST.

Lastly, it’s the equipping. My salvation was secure, but I have learned a lot through peer learning, how to really follow Christ. I got a quality education. “I can see that Terrence now has strong biblical foundation and can evangelise using the scriptures,” added Tamara.

Q: What advice would you give to the final year students, preparing for Commencement this May 2023?

A: When you leave EAST, do not put God in a box. You might end up doing something not related to your degree. Remember when you have a calling, it is because you have a Caller. Focus on your primary calling, then your secondary calling.

Prayer Requests for Family & Ministry:

  • Praying for our children to live abundant, Kingdom focused lives.
  • Praying for God to use us to build the body of believers to walk out their Christian faith with the authority that God has given them.

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