Michelle Thomas, Associate Minister & Itinerate Deacon

Michelle Thomas is Itinerate Deacon, associate minister, and First Lady of St. Paul AME. Like her husband, Gregory, she was ordained over two decades ago. Raised as a baptist woman, and a devout member of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Rev. Michelle married into the AME family when she wed her husband in 1987.

As a young woman, she knew God called her into the ministry. Unfortunately her church believed that women could only minister through bible studies and not as members of clergy. Like Jonah heading to Tarshish instead of heading to Nineveh, she ran from the call. That is, until she couldn’t run anymore. It was following a sermon one day, where she accepted the call to ministry that God had on her life.

Native of Cleveland, she is passionate about ministering to people struggling with everyday life circumstances and mental health issues. Often clergy members do not have a safe place to talk or a place to learn coping strategies of living in a 21st century world. She aspires to one day own a counseling agency catering to clergy people, along with their families and children, of all denominations and walks of life. There she will provide a safe space for them to share their concerns and experiences in ministry.

While she wears many hats and has many goals, she enjoys the simple things in life. This includes spending time with her loved ones, be this her grandson Jaiden, daughter Cherise or husband. She enjoys creating video short segments starring her dog and granddog, Shaggy and Hana, thrift shopping with her daughter, surfing the internet, being active with Women in Ministry and North Ohio MSWAWOS, and trying new DIY projects on Pinterest.

Alma Mater:

Payne Theological Seminary – Master of Divinity, anticipated June 2026.

Ashland University (Ashland Theological Seminary) – Master of Arts, Clinical Mental Health Counseling. June 2014. 

Cleveland State University – Bachelor of Science, Education, June 2001 (Cum Laude | Dean’s List, Gold Key National Honor Society.)

Cuyahoga Community College – Associate of Arts, June 1993.

Favorite Scripture:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

  • Jeremiah 29:11 NLT 

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