Rev. Neil Thomas is currently the Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church, Los Angeles, the founding church of Metropolitan Community Churches. As a native of Bournemouth, England, Thomas grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In later years, he worshipped in a number of different churches including the Church of England and Baptist traditions. He attended St. John’s Theological College (Church of England), La Saint Union (Roman Catholic) and King Alfred’s College, and graduated with a B.A. (equivalent to an M. Div in the U.S.). He is currently enrolled in a Doctorate program at San Francisco Theological Seminary.
As a part of the MCC denomination for 26 years, Rev. Thomas has served in numerous positions including: chair, Board of Ordained Ministries (European District); member, Elder’s Task Force on Education; member, European District Committee; member, Board of Samaritan College in Europe; supervising pastor; and Ecumenical Officer.
Rev. Thomas served as the Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church, Bournemouth following his ordination, serving in this capacity for 12 years. He was instrumental in founding churches in Southampton, Brighton, Dorchester, and Torquay, (England). In 2002, he answered a call to ministry in Los Angeles where he currently serves as Senior Pastor. Well-known for his social activism he has been instrumental in feeding programs for the homeless, night and day shelters, safer sex initiatives, establishing relations with police and LGBTQ communities, Over the Rainbow, (a drop in center offering counseling, support and information), LGBTQ youth services, as well as challenging laws that continue discrimination and intolerance. He also served as chaplain to the Sanctuary (an HIV/AIDS hospice), five drug and alcohol rehab houses, Women’s Refuge and the Mayor of Bournemouth. He also served as Chair of Relate (Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch)--a relationship counseling organization.
In 1998, Thomas was honored by an invitation from HRH Queen Elizabeth II to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his work in the Bournemouth community. He is a contributing author of Daring to Speak Love’s Name and From Queer to Eternity. He has also been featured in a number of journals relating to queer theology and ministry to the LGBTQ community.
As Senior Pastor of MCC-LA, Thomas is building a strong community of faith that is firmly rooted in the call to be ministers in the world. He believes that God is calling us all to make a difference and to reach the world, one life at a time.
Rev. Thomas currently serves as president of California Faith for Equality, an interfaith coalition that is building a strong voice in bringing about Marriage Equality in California; president of the Los Angeles LGBTQI Clergy Council; and serves Metropolitan Community Churches on the California Council of Churches.
(This biographical statement provided by Adrian Ravarour and Neil Thomas.)