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Mr. Willie James Thomas was born to the late Frank Sr. and Katherine Davis Thomas on August 7, 1937, in Cleveland County North Carolina.  Rev. Willie made his transition on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at Caromont Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, NC.

Rev. Willie Thomas was introduced to the power of Jesus Christ at an early age.  He attended church with his family at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Vale, NC.

Later in his adult life, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior at Faith Chapel FBH Church.  This is where he joined hands with the Lord and decided he would allow God to use him as His vessel to build the Kingdom of God.

God saw greater works for his life and he answered the call to Pastor, where he served faithfully the members of Thomas Prayer House in Vale, NC and St. Hannah in Belmont, NC.  He looked forward to the Church Conventions.  He would travel near and far to be in attendance.  He was dedicated and faithful in serving the FBH Church.  He believed and knew that living Holy was the right and only way. 

Rev. Thomas cherished and loved his family, children, church family, and his community, which he fed selflessly on numerous occasions.  Oh, how he loved the Lord. He would play that washboard until the Glory of the Lord filled the House.  He would sing songs of Zion from morning to night.  We know that he is enjoying Heaven, singing and shouting with his wife of 51 years, Lady Willie Louise Thomas.  They are together again.  What a time they must be having!

In his early career he was employed by the Gaston County School System.  He also worked in the restaurant industry which he enjoyed.  He retired from the City of Gastonia.  Rev. Thomas was also known as an exceptional baseball player. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Willie Louise Curry Thomas; 2 sisters, Beulah Charles and Ruby Surratt; and 4 brothers, Frank Thomas, Jr., Robert Thomas, Leroy Thomas, and Carl Thomas. 

He leaves to cherish his legacy and memory:  Gloria Sanders (Tramelle) of Dallas, NC, Michael Thomas, Marko Thomas, Greta T. Nichols (Darrell), Miranda D. Barnette (Harry) all of Gastonia, NC.  12 Grandchildren, 17 Great-grandchildren, 2 sisters, Katherine Bradley (Glenn) of Ranlo and Eloise T. Farley (Coleman) of Vale, NC, 1 brother, William ‘Bobby’ Thomas of Brooklyn, NY.  3 Sisters-in-law, Brenda Harris (Grady) , Barbara Setzer both of Gastonia, and Mae Elizabeth Setzer Lewis (Byron) of Anaheim, CA, 3 brothers-in law, John Arthur Curry (Hazel), Samuel Setzer, and Glen Setzer, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends

Funeral: Tuesday; August 7, 2018; 1:30 p.m.; Tabernacle Baptist Church-519 W. 19th Ave, Gastonia

Visitation: thirty minutes before the service at the church

Interment: Armstrong Cemetery, Gastonia

Rev. Willie Thomas
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  • Friday, August 03, 2018
    Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
    ~ Gregory Funeral Service
  • Tuesday, August 28, 2018
    We're so sorry to hear you are mourning the recent loss of your loved one. May you find strength and comfort from the words of Psalms 46:1 which reads: "God is our refuge and strength, A help that is readily found in times of distress." Our loving God is there for us if we ask for his help (1 John 5:14). He didn't intend for us to grow old and die. He thus has made the SURE promise of a resurrection RIGHT HERE ON EARTH when it is restored to a beautiful paradise (Psalms 37:9-11, 29; Acts 24:15; Isaiah 55;11). Can you see yourself welcoming back to life your loved ones? What a joy it will bring all of us. You can go online to JW.ORG and find out more about this resurrection.
    ~ R&R Lopez   AZ