Dr. Marlon Franklin Thomas "Pop", 70, of Gainesville, died Friday, January 2, 2009, surrounded by his loving family and friends.
He was the son of Grace Thomas of Talmo.
On May 15, 2008, Dr. Thomas, pastor of Sardis Baptist Church in Gainesville, celebrated his 70th birthday and his 50th year in the ministry. Dr. Thomas has been described by all as "A man of God" who has lived a life dedicated to ministering and serving others. He was born into the family of Horace and Grace Collins Thomas of Pendergrass, in 1938. He attended Talmo Elementary School and graduated from Jefferson High School in 1956. He held his first job as a D.J. for the "Showboat" on WDUN Radio and was later employed at The Citizens Bank. His first pastorates were Pond Fork Baptist Church of Talmo and County Line Church of Cleveland. During this time, he attended Truett McConnell College, where he graduated in 1964 with an AA Degree. He then became the pastor of Sardis Baptist Church of Gainesville. He moved to Decatur, where he served as the Associate Pastor and Youth Minister at the Glenn Haven Baptist Church. He then married his wife of 42 years, Angelyn R. Thomas. They moved to Bethlehem, where he served as the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, and then went on to be the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Toccoa. He was then called back to Sardis Baptist Church of Gainesville. He attended Antioch Bible College and Seminary where he received a BA in Bible and a Master's degree in Theology. During this time, he served as Minister of Music and taught music and Bible at the Seminary. He then moved to Hampton, where he was the pastor of the First Baptist Church. During this time, he taught at the Gwinnett-Hall Bible College where he received an Honorary Doctorate of Theology. Although he served in several locations, he continued to teach at Gwinnett-Hall for over 25 years. Bro. Marlon then became the pastor of the New Canaan Baptist Church in Dallas. He was there for a short period of time when he felt God leading him back to Hampton. In 1975, Bro. Marlon and several families constituted the Calvary Baptist Church of Hampton. He and his family served here as part of a thriving ministry for the next sixteen years. For the following eight years, Bro. Marlon was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lula. He was then pastor of Antioch Baptist Church of Cumming. He then found his way back to Sardis Baptist Church in Gainesville.
Survivors in addition to his mother, include his devoted and loving wife of 42 years, Angelyn Reed Thomas, Gainesville; son and daughter-in-law, Chris M. and Melanie Thomas, Talmo; daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Bobby Reed, Gainesville; grandchildren, Casey Thomas, Matthew Thomas, Chase Reed, Cameron Reed, Cory Thomas, and Conner Reed; brother and sister-in-law, Mahlon and Ann Thomas, Gainesville; sister-in-law, Linda Grizzle, Gainesville; brother and sister-in-law, Gilbert and Evelyn Reed, Oakwood; and many other family and friends also survive.
Funeral services were held Sunday, January 4, at Sardis Baptist Church in Gainesville, with interment in the church cemetery with the Revs. Lamar Rackley and Scott Culpepper officiating. The following ministers shared remarks, the Revs. Dee Keith, Ray Boutwell, Milton Harris, Jimmy Wright and grandson, Chase Reed.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sardis Baptist Church Building Fund, 2724 Sardis Church Rd., Gainesville, Ga. 30506.
Memorial Park Funeral, Home North Riverside Chapel, Gainesville, was in charge of arrangements.