Williams First Baptist welcomes new pastor
by Margaret Anderson
Correspondent
At the age of 28, Chris Thomas, a native of Enterprise, finds himself pastoring a rural church with a membership of about 400. He believes it’s a good thing for himself as well as those 400 members and is anticipating his first official sermon on Sunday, Jan. 6, with a lot of enthusiasm.

  Williams First Baptist, near the community of Pleasant Valley, recently called Thomas after the church’s longtime preacher, Mike Oliver, left. Bob Ford has been filling in at the church in the absence of a preacher since Oliver’s departure.

  Prior to Williams, Thomas pastored at Fairview Heights Northside Baptist in Anniston for three and one-half years.

  “Williams is a unique church in a beautiful rural setting,” says Thomas. “I hope to be able to help the people there continue their long tradition of a strong community church and their missions in helping the rest of the world.”

  Thomas, who was good friends with Oliver, says his wife, the former Sallie Kruse, is equally excited about his appointment. He and Sally graduated from Samford University in May 2006 and married the next month. Not long after that, they moved to Texas where he pastored a church in Crawford while attending seminary at Baylor.

  Thomas, who has been a Christian since the age of 18, says that his entire life he was geared toward being a mechanic. He worked as a mechanic on school buses while in high school and later to help pay for junior college.

  “Finally, one day on a mission trip in southwest Alabama, near the Mobile area, I was called to something more, congregational ministry, and I’ve pursued it ever since”

  Thomas likes to read and is especially fond of southern literature. Flannery O’Connor is a favorite. He also likes to write and blogs for Day One and writes once a month for The Anniston Star’s Round Table. He currently serves as vice president of Interfaith Ministeries in Calhoun County.
© 2012