Rev. Cecil J. Fitzgerald Thompson
The Rev. Cecil Jacob Fitzgerald Thompson became a candidate for pastoral ministry in the West Ohio Conference in 2015. In July 2016, he was licensed as a local pastor and was appointed to serve as the pastor of Gethsemane United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio. Under our missional mandate to make disciples of Jesus Christ, Rev. Thompson led Gethsemane to renewal of congregational engagement by creating an atmosphere of Christ-centered connectedness, vibrant youth participation, fellowship, community, and service.
In 2018, Rev. Thompson was reappointed to Braden United Methodist Church in Toledo, Ohio where he served as pastor for five years. Through his inspirational and visionary leadership, the Braden congregation grew in spiritual vitality and incarnational hospitality. Braden intensified its focus on community-centered worship, community events, and partnerships, thus, sharing Christ’s saving and redeeming love with its neighbors.
In 2021, the world faced one of the deadliest health crises of the century – the Coronavirus pandemic. Rev. Thompson and the Lay Officers of Braden UMC made their highest priority the unique health and safety needs of the Braden congregation. Rev. Thompson provided prudent, steady, and compassionate leadership required in a time of great challenge. While serving at Braden UMC, Rev. Thompson was commissioned in 2021 as a provisional elder in the West Ohio Conference and in 2022, he was ordained a full member elder by Bishop Gregory Vaughn L. Palmer.
In 2020, Rev. Thompson became a member of the West Ohio Committee on Nominations and was appointed chair of the Committee in 2022 and continues to serve in that capacity. Also, Rev. Thompson currently serves as a member of The Board of Directors of the Maumee River District in the West Ohio Conference.
Rev. Thompson is a native of Freetown, Sierra Leone in West Africa. He grew up in the bosom of the church and in a loving family that nurtured his relationship with Jesus Christ based on John 3:16, instilling in him the values of faith, hope, and love. Cecil is a son of the Honorable Justice Dr. R. John Bankole Thompson (now deceased) and Mrs. Claribelle Abisodun Thompson. Cecil’s father was a judge of the High Court in Sierra Leone, a professor of law and criminal justice at Eastern Kentucky University, an author, and an international court judge. He was appointed in 2002 by then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan to serve on a United Nations backed Special Court established to try persons charged with war crimes in Sierra Leone. Cecil’s mother is a retired schoolteacher and civil administrator. Rev. Thompson is married to his lovely wife, Kim Thompson. Their relationship and love for each other is a testament to Christ’s abiding love. Cecil and Kim enjoy visiting the Metroparks and going out to eat at different restaurants. Cecil’s family and six siblings are spread across three states: Michigan, Texas, and Maryland.
Cecil is a graduate of The Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He was a Bishop Dwight and Mrs. Mildred Loder International Scholar and a Mark C. Sprague Memorial Scholar in Theology. With high distinction, he earned the Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) in 2017. He was awarded the Ronald L. Williams Book Prize in Theology and Ethics which is awarded to a student with extraordinary potential in theology and ethics. Rev. Thompson holds a Doctorate degree in law (J.D.) from the Michael E. Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) in English Honors and University Honors and was awarded the Certificate of Academic Excellence in Honors English and the Certificate of Academic Achievement at Wayne State University in Michigan.
Rev. Thompson’s commitment to the life and mission of the church, his love for all people, a passion for preaching and teaching God’s Word have shaped and guided his years in ministry. Cecil strives to live by Jesus’ command in Mark 12:30-31: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”