Apostle Dr. Darrick James Thomas Sr. was a vibrant soul, and one of God’s most loving, resilient sons. He lived his life with constant purpose, unquestionable devotion to Christ, and was a force of strength amongst his friends and family. He was called home to eternal rest on January 22, 2021.
Darrick was born on September 25, 1957 to Olivia Fanny Webb and William Thomas in Philadelphia, PA. He was one of six children, with three brothers and two sisters. He graduated from Cheltenham High School, in a small suburb outside of Philadelphia. After graduation, he moved to California, and worked at the hospital at UCLA, spurring his passion for work in the healthcare field. After two years he returned home to further his educational journey.
Darrick married Angel Poe in May of 1982, and shortly thereafter they were blessed with two children, Darrah Shaneen Thomas, and Darrick James Thomas Jr, raising them lovingly in the Abington suburbs. Darrick was a devout family man, and never missed an opportunity to express how much he loved them, especially if it meant he could break into his favorite song. Darrick was a constant presence for his immediate and extended family but made time to broaden his character and expand his knowledge.
In 1987, Darrick received his Associate in the Arts, with a Minor in Psychology from Chestnut Hill College. He also attended the Philadelphia School of Fine Arts, focusing on graphic design. He always sought to gain as much knowledge as he could, a trait he maintained throughout his life. Yet the subject he always loved and valued the most was religious and spiritual studies. In 1993 he received his Bachelor of Science from Philadelphia Bible University. His most valued accomplishment was completing his Doctorate in Christian Counseling from H.E. Wood Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA in 2017, having acquired his Masters two years prior.
Always eager to help heal people from their core, Darrick began working as a therapist at Lower Bucks Hospital in 2015, coordinating behavior modification groups for adults and seniors, and remained there until his untimely passing. Prior to that, he was a student support therapist at Staffing Plus Inc, a therapeutic activity assistant at Genesis HealthCare, and a Counselor at St. Francis, St. Joseph Home for Boys and Girls.
Darrick was well recognized throughout all of his professions in his life. In 2000 he received the Civic Association of America Who’s Who Award. In 2003 he received both the Mercy Courage Award for Compassionate Care, as well as the Mercy Suburban Hospital Outstanding Performance Award in recognition of Outstanding Service for Activity Therapist. Also, in 2003, he founded the Refiners Fire School of Ministry. In 2019 he created the Frontline Servants Network of Churches and Ministries. He was also on the Executive Committee of Elders for the Fire Net Pastors Network founded by Apostle Dr. Narriett Butler for 11 years.
Anyone who knew Darrick knew that he was an unwavering servant of the Lord. He always said, “If you don’t stand for Jesus, you will fall for anything.” From 1982-1989 he was a part of the young adult choir at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, as well as a part of the Evangelistic Ministry. From there, he went to Glory Land Ministries, where he taught Sunday School, and conducted praise and worship. Following that, he and wife Angel continued their spiritual journey doing outreach ministry.
Darrick founded Bethel of Praise International Outreach Ministries in 1993 in his living room and spent the rest of his life expanding his ministry, of which he was the Apostle. He and his wife touched many lives. He evangelized the streets of Philadelphia and in 1993 he was ordained a Pastor. In 1998 Darrick was consecrated a Bishop and in 2006 he was consecrated an Apostle. Apostle Thomas birthed out of Bethel the Covenant Men Men’s Ministry, Refiners Fire School of Ministry and Foundational Impact Bible Training. Apostle Darrick Thomas took his first Apostolic missionary journey in 2006 to Ghana West Africa, where he co-consecrated a bishop, taught and ministered to Liberian refugees.
Apostle Thomas had an infectious spirit and is remembered by almost everyone who came in contact with him. He was knowledgeable about many things and could converse with people from all walks of life, interests, and culture, so much so that even when you first met him, you felt like you had known him forever. Because of this door of culture, knowledge and wisdom, he was able to witness Jesus Christ in His entirety, and won many souls to Christ as well. Apostle Thomas truly walked out Corinthians. 9:22 “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
Though Apostle Thomas gave his life and love to the Lord, he was absolutely a renaissance man. He was definitely the most well-dressed Apostle that many people had the pleasure of knowing. He loved taking his family on vacation, eating great food, gardening, and experiencing all that life had to offer. He loved music and dancing, especially singing, as everyone knew. He would light up a room just by walking into it and gave his all to every endeavor he took on, whether it was big or small. He was passionate about his family, his education, his ministry, and helping others. There was nothing he wouldn’t have done for anyone, including giving the shirt off his back, which he had done. He was the pillar of strength, for his family and his spiritual community.
But above all else, Apostle Thomas loved being a father. Not just to his own children, but he was a spiritual father and mentor to many of God’s sons and daughters. He birthed many prophets, pastors, evangelists and ministers within God’s kingdom.
Apostle Thomas is survived by his beautiful wife of 39 years Angel Thomas; children Darrah Thomas and Darrick Thomas Jr; grandchildren Zion, Ariyanna, Josiah, Eliahs, Christian, and Lennox-Cree. He is also survived by two brothers, William Thomas, and Dwayne Thomas, and his sisters, Stephanie Cromwell and Angela Smith-Wynder. His Auntie Elaine and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He leaves behind a wealth of wisdom, lessons, clothes, and the memories of how deeply he loved everyone. Apostle Dr. Darrick J. Thomas, Sr. will be missed, remembered, and honored. But as he always said, “see you in church”.