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Carolyn Thomas
Instructional Aide

Tell us about yourself.
My parents came from NYC to Englewood, NJ when I was two and one-half years old. I was raised as an only child in a Christian home and educated in the Englewood school system graduating from Dwight Morrow High School in 1969. God has always tugged on my heart through my young years through church activities, Sunday school, and especially one afternoon at Christian summer camp in Lebanon, NJ. That is when I felt a personal connection with Jesus as I sat by myself in an outdoor chapel. As I got older, married and had my two children my interests always circulated around church. I was Sunday school superintendent, at the request of the pastor taught bible and new member classes, and I prayed with and for members of my church. A few people in the church I attended mentioned that I would be a good minister because of my compassionate and caring heart. God continued to pursue me and I found myself entering Bible college at the age of forty-seven. I knew I was on the path God wanted me on. I went on to receive a Master of Divinity and years later a Doctorate in Ministry in Pastoral Care and Counseling. While in New Jersey I was one of twelve ministers at a local church where I was licensed to preach the gospel in 2003. My husband and I relocated in 2006 to Florida for a few years where I served as an assistant to one church and then senior pastor to two congregations over a total of twelve years. My husband, Nate and I have four children, eleven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and two cats – Osca and Maya. I love the outdoors, gardening, reading, listening to Brazilian jazz, going to movies and spending time with my husband and family.

Tell us the story of how God brought you to work at EC.
In my years on earth, I have learned to follow the crumbs. What I mean is God has a way of opening and closing doors. You learn to be obedient and walk through the doors that are open using God given wisdom. Last year, my husband and I made a decision to return back to New Jersey as I neared retirement age. In the meantime, two years ago God opened the door for my daughter, Sheri Blands-Pearson to be employed at EC and my grandchildren, Justin and Jordyn to receive their education at EC. I took a chance and applied for a part-time position as and instructional aide. My application was accepted. Principal Sandra Bottage then interviewed me in April after attending an amazing morning during ‘Grand-Friends’ Day with my grandson at the Elementary School. God said yes to my being hired for this position! I am thankful for the opportunity to serve EC in that capacity. To my amazement, everything fell into place including the ease of finding a place to live and the transition to a local congregation where I will worship and serve God. I have Bachelor of Science in Bible from Philadelphia Biblical University (now Carin University) in Langhorne, PA. My Master of Divinity is from New York Theological Seminary in NYC. My Doctorate in Ministry is from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. My training is very broad. As a pastor I lead worship, preach, teach, counsel, posses administrative ability and have a compassionate heart for all of God’s children – young and old. My calling is to lead others to Christ and transform hearts to serve God’s kingdom using the gifts and graces that the Holy Spirit has gracefully endowed all of us with these gifts. I love the Lord and will serve EC as the Lord leads me!

What sets EC apart – Why Eastern Christian?
I have learned about EC from my daughter, Sheri and the excitement of my grandchildren, Justin and Jordyn who love, love, love EC! I see God working through the administration, staff and volunteers to provide a nurturing, culturally diverse Christian education, vigorous academic environment together with a worldview of the importance of missions/ministry by serving and respect of others. This environment will help the students excel and give glory to God in all they accomplish throughout their school years and as they journey into college, professional careers and personal life. To me, EC is ground zero that gives the basic tools of faith in Christ and the importance of strength of family. EC will help these students to accomplish all God wants them to do to help to transform their community and the world through faith in Jesus Christ. EC has been set apart by God to transform God’s kingdom by engaging and challenging the students to excel for Christ’s mission in the world.

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