Dr. James A. Thornton, Pastor

A brief biographical sketch

 

On October 18, 1987, on the recommendation of his father the Rev. Thomas J. Boyd and before a congregation of the faithful, James Thornton delivered his trial sermon, aptly titled, “I Am Not Ashamed.”  In 1988, he was ordained to the ministry and accepted the position of Assistant to the Pastor.  In February 1999, on the recommendation of Pastor, Rev. Boyd, Dr. James A. Thornton was unanimously elected Co-Pastor and successor, and in May, 1999, was officially installed.
On May 1, 2006, on the retirement of Pastor Thomas J. Boyd, after 45 years of faithful service, Rev. Dr. James A. Thornton assumed the mantle of leadership as the 6th Pastor of the Salem Missionary Baptist Church.


A student of the Word, called out, set apart and on fire for the Lord Jesus Christ, Pastor Thornton is more than equipped to teach God’s Word and to give leadership to this part of God’s vineyard called Salem. He is a graduate of Fordham University, where he received his Bachelors of Arts degree. He attended Fordham’s Graduate School of Business. He received his Masters of Divinity Degree from New York Theological Seminary and his Doctorate of Divinity Degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio. The thesis for his doctoral degree in Urban Ministry was “The Church Bridging the Gap Between Public School and Community.”
 

On October 18, 1987, on the recommendation of his father the Rev. Thomas J. Boyd and before a congregation of the faithful, James Thornton delivered his trial sermon, aptly titled, “I Am Not Ashamed.”  In 1988, he was ordained to the ministry and accepted the position of Assistant to the Pastor.  Dr. Thornton served as the Assistant to the Pastor for 10 years. In February 1999, on the recommendation of Pastor, Rev. Boyd, Dr. James A. Thornton was unanimously elected Co-Pastor and successor, and in May, 1999, was officially installed.
 

On May 1, 2006, on the retirement of Pastor Thomas J. Boyd, after 45 years of faithful service, Rev. Dr. James A. Thornton assumed the mantle of leadership as the 6th Pastor of the Salem Missionary Baptist Church.
 

Dr. Thornton is the director and reorganizer of Salem’s Afterschool Enrichment Center. He firmly believes in the adage of the Negro College Fund, “A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”
Dr. Thornton is Adjunct Professor of Ethics at New York Theological Seminary. He serves as an instructor for the National Baptist Convention Congress of Christian Education. As a graduate of the Lott Carey Convention’s Pastoral Excellence Program, our Pastor has brought the Christian witness to the mission fields of Guyana, Jamaica and South Africa, and he has partnered with the Philadelphia-based 300 Chosen Ministries, in the preaching and teaching of God’s word on foreign shores.  After his most recent visit to Guyana, our Pastor led the effort in Salem, to provide a feeding program to a local church in Guyana.  We continue to support local charities and missions, and to provide aid and comfort to those within our Salem Family who continue to face financial, social and physical hardship.

He is married to Angela Thornton and they have one son, Isaiah, who is a joy and a blessing.

"I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding."
                                                                                                                                                                                        

Jeremiah 3:15