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Claude Thomas declines position at Southwestern Seminary

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Claude Thomas, the former pastor of First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas, announced Oct. 18 that he has declined an invitation to become special assistant to the president at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Thomas had announced Sept. 26 that he was taking the position.

“Upon more mature reflection, I am not certain that this move is best for my family or for the seminary at this particular time,” Thomas said in a statement. “I have come to believe that I should not make such a commitment until I am certain about what I should pursue as the next step in my life and ministry.”

Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson said that while he was personally disappointed, he “fully understands the decision and pray[s] heaven’s richest blessings on Dr. Thomas and his family. I am sure that he is making a wise decision for all.”

Patterson praised Thomas’ service in the ministry.

“When I think of all the people who have come to Christ under Pastor Thomas’ ministry, all the young people whose weddings he performed, all the memorial services he preached, all the families he comforted, all the troubled souls that he counseled, all the wounded and hurting that he consoled and encouraged, I could not but covet his ministry to my young preachers,” Patterson said.

Patterson expressed the hope that God would “marvelously use Dr. Thomas and his entire family in increasingly significant ways in the years that lie ahead.”

Thomas is a two-time graduate of Southwestern Seminary and a former president of the seminary’s National Alumni Association. Three of Thomas’ four sons also attended the seminary.

He also is a former president of the SBC Pastors’ Conference and former chairman of the SBC Executive Committee.

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