Jeffery Andrew Thomas, age 61, passed from this life into his eternal rest on October 6, 2020 at Prisma Health Baptist.
Jeff is survived by his beloved wife, Dr. Carla Thomas, and son, Roman (both of Sumter); two brothers, Julian (Dublin, GA) and Joel (Atlanta, GA); one sister, Robina (Montgomery, AL); and several cousins, nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by his Father, Dr. Julian Thomas, and his mother, June Thomas.
Jeff was born on May 7th, 1959 in Dublin, Georgia. While the family made several moves throughout his childhood, Jeff always considered Dublin to be "home". While living in West LaFayette, IN at the still tender age of 13, Jeff faced a critical point of decision that would be the first of a series of defining moments in his life. He was invited by a neighborhood friend to a revival meeting. It was at that meeting that he heard the gospel of Jesus Christ preached. He learned he was a sinner and that Jesus Christ suffered and died to pay the penalty for his (Jeff's) sin. Jeff made the life changing decision to place his faith in Jesus Christ. He trusted and called upon the Lord that night and was saved. Jeff still had a lot of growing up to do and lots to learn about what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in the years to follow, but he viewed this decision as the most important decision of his life.
After High School Jeff went on to college and graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. In May 1982, at the age of 24, Jeff was commissioned in the United States Air Force. Jeff's love for his country propelled him to a successful career. He served 10 years active duty and achieved the rank of Captain. Anyone who knew Jeff knew he was fiercely patriotic. He cherished liberty, and he worked tirelessly to protect it.
In 1991 Jeff reached another defining moment of decision in his life. It would rank second only to his decision to trust Christ in importance. While stationed at Hickam AFB in Hawaii, Jeff met Carla. The journey of a lifetime officially began in a ceremony at Dobbins AFB in Marietta, GA as Jeff and Carla said, "I Do" on June 8, 1991. After their wedding Jeff reached his next duty station at Langley AFB in VA where he concluded his active duty service in 1992.
Jeff next went to work for the MITRE Corporation where he continued to serve his country with the skills he developed and honed during his years of military service. He served as a Senior Cyber Security Engineer with MITRE for 27 years. The adjustment to civilian life was not an easy transition for Jeff and Carla. The Lord used that pressure to draw them to Himself. In 1993 Carla trusted Jesus Christ as her own personal Savior. While Jeff had made that decision many years prior, he had not been discipled and was not yet serving Christ as he later learned he should. God was working in his heart as he worked in Carla's. Jeff submitted to believer's baptism along with Carla and surrendered and rededicated his life to Christ. Jeff and Carla reached this defining moment together, and it truly transformed their lives and marriage
In the years that followed Jeff encouraged Carla to follow the Lord's leading and study to become a chiropractor. He was so proud of her accomplishments and literally beamed at every opportunity to introduce her as Dr. Carla Thomas. Carla's training led them to South Carolina. During these years they continued to draw closer to the Lord. Jeff developed an appetite for the study of God's Word. Knowing the difference it made in his life, he developed a love for discipleship training. That led to an interest in Biblical counseling. Jeff studied and trained to become a Christian counselor. In 2003 God blessed them with a precious gift as Roman was born on May 12th of that year. Jeff loved watching Roman grow up. He loved taking him fishing and hunting and to the golf course among other things. But Jeff and Carla's primary concern for Roman was that he might find the same salvation in Jesus Christ that they possessed. For many years Jeff would ask his friends to pray for God to touch Roman's heart that he might understand the way of salvation and be saved. In His grace, God did just that, and Jeff and Carla rejoiced last year as Roman trusted Christ as Savior.
In 2012 The Thomas family moved to Sumter and joined Sumter Baptist Temple. Jeff served the Lord in many ways at SBT. For several years he served as Sunday School Superintendent, Discipleship Director, in Wednesday children’s ministry, and continued his counseling ministry as well. Jeff served his country, and He served his Lord all the way to the finish line. His family and friends are comforted in knowing he fought a good fight. He finished his course. He kept the faith. He now lives in the light of the Savior he loves.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 12:00 noon at Sumter Baptist Temple with Pastor Mike Westmoreland officiating. The interment will follow in the Ft. Jackson National Cemetery at 2:00 pm with military honors.
The family will receives on Thursday, October 15, 2020 from 11:00-12:00, one hour prior to the service, at Sumter Baptist Temple.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Missions Fund of Sumter Baptist Temple; 2295 Harper Street Sumter, SC 29153.
You may go to www.bullockfuneralhome.com and sign the family’s guest book.
The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home for the arrangements.
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