REVEREND JOHN L. THOMPSON
Reverend John L. Thompson is the Senior Pastor of Park Hill United Methodist Church. He served previously as the District Superintendent of the Mile High/Pikes Peak District, Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church. He received a BA degree in Sociology from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia in 1968 and his Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C. in 1974.
Further study was done at the University of South Carolina. In 1971 he was an ecumenical student at North American College, Rome, Italy and the Ecumenical Institute in Switzerland. He is also a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Academy in Atlanta, the North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy in Marietta, Georgia and Air University in Montgomery, Alabama.
Reverend Thompson was ordained an Elder in the Carolina Annual Conference of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in 1966. He served as the pastor of the following congregations: St. James C.M.E. Church, Batesburg, South Carolina; Macedonia C.M.E. Church, Allendale, South Carolina, 1964-1968; Russell Temple C.M.E. Church, Alexandria, Virginia, 1968-1971; Mt. Pisgah C.M.E. Church, Baltimore, Maryland, 1971-1974; West Side Community C.M.E. Church, Atlanta, Georgia, 1974-1984; Williams Memorial C.M.E. Church, Augusta, Georgia, 1984-1986 and the St. Paul C.M.E. Church, Savannah, Georgia, 1986-1989.
Reverend Thompson was the pastor of the United Church of Montbello for ten years, an ecumenical congregation of the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He served as an adjunct professor at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, the fiscal agent for the Montbello/Green Valley Ranch/Gateway Family Preservation Family Support Resource.
Rev. Thompson is a member of the Religious Advisory Council (RAC) and the American Jewish Council (AJC). He also is the founder of the Interfaith Council of Denver at Stapleton, a ministry center that encourages interfaith dialogue with Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans and followers of traditional African religions. The mission of the Interfaith Council is to provide inter-religious understanding and cooperation between the different religious communities in the Denver metropolitan area by engaging in interfaith activity in a comfortable and trusting environment. The Annual Conference on the Convergence of Science and Spirituality is an expression of that outreach.
Reverend Thompson hosted and produced “GOSPEL SHOWCASE” at WANX TV, Channel 46, in Atlanta, Georgia, an affiliate of the Christian Broadcast Network. He also wrote, hosted and produced “THE SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON” at WIZA Radio Station, 1480 AM, in Savannah, Georgia. His weekly worship service from the spacious sanctuary of the St. Paul CME Church in Savannah was also broadcast over WIZA Radio Station into Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and the Caribbean Islands.
In 1978 he was appointed Police Chaplain for the City of Atlanta and served during the most turbulent period known as the “Missing and Murdered Children” investigation. Reverend Thompson counseled with the families and delivered the death notices to the families in Atlanta.
As an Air Force officer, Rev. Thompson received his initial commission as a Reserve of the Air Force in 1979. He served as a Category B Chaplain with attachment to Robins AFB, Georgia, where he was the IMA to the Installation Staff Chaplain. In March 1989, he was assigned to HQ USAF/HC at Bolling AFB in Washington, D.C., and served as the IMA to Chief, Budget and Logistics Division in the Office of the Air Force Chief of Chaplain Service. In that same year Reverend Thompson was called to active duty with the United States Air Force and stationed at the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, Colorado where he was responsible for the management of the United States Air Force Chaplain Candidate Program and for recruiting to fill over 750 authorized chaplain positions in the Chaplain Service Reserve Force.
While he was a reservist, as an additional duty assignment he served as an Admissions Liaison Officer for the Air Force Academy and the Air Force ROTC. In 1991 he was promoted to the rank of Full Colonel. He was assigned at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. as the Mobilization Assistant to the Office of the Air Force Chief of Chaplains where he was responsible for writing policy directives to implement Chaplain Service mission requirements.
As a chaplain Rev. Thompson attended Orientation, Career and Advanced Chaplain Courses. His military decorations and awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Defense Service Medal and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
Reverend Thompson is married to the former Ms Valencia Smith of Atlanta, Georgia. She is the Student Achievement Services Coordinator at Smoky Hill High School in the Cherry Creek School District. They have three children, John Jr., (Chavon) Ashlee (Robert Saddler) and Joseph. They are the proud grandparents of Alexandra Renee Saddler and Robert Blake Saddler.