FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Claude Thomas, pastor of First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas, announced Sept. 26 he will step down from his pulpit to join the staff of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as seminary chaplain and special assistant to President Paige Patterson.
Thomas also will assist in the doctor of ministry degree program and student recruitment at the Fort Worth seminary.
Patterson said he was delighted to have a person of such deep faith and commitment as a member of the seminary family.
“It is not every day when an institution has the opportunity to secure the services of an experienced pastor, notable for his prowess in the pulpit and for his commitment to the orthodox faith. We are ecstatic that this rare opportunity has come our way,” he said.
In his role as seminary chaplain, Thomas will offer counsel to many of the 3,010 students enrolled at the seminary who are pursuing pastoral education or are serving currently as pastors. “One of our greatest needs is guidance for young pastors. The contribution Dr. Thomas will make in this area will be critical,” Patterson said.
Thomas will preach his final sermon Oct. 10 at the Dallas-Fort Worth-area church where he has served as pastor since 1992.
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.