Bishop Leofric W. Thomas, Sr., is a native of Jacksonville, FL. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Florida Memorial University of Miami, Florida and a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University School of Theology, Richmond, Virginia.
Bishop Thomas served as Assistant Minister of Music to Bishop Bruce Allen while at the Abyssinia Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, under the leadership of the Late Bishop Tom Diamond. He also served as Minister of Music at the Trinity Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia. Bishop Thomas has led three congregations as under-shepherd: Metropolitan Baptist Church, Petersburg, Virginia 1991-1995; Emanuel Missionary Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida 1995-1999; and Open Arms Christian Fellowship, Jacksonville, Florida, where he is presently pastor and founder.
Bishop Thomas has guided the Open Arms Church for the past eighteen years, growing to become a vibrant ministry in the community, city, state, and nation. Starting with 33 persons, Open Arms has grown to well over 2000 members being developed as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has led the congregation in purchasing property and erecting their 1,000 seat worship facility which they occupied in December 2009.
In July of 2015, Bishop Neil C. Ellis, Presiding Prelate of the Global United Fellowship, elevated then Pastor Thomas to the office of Bishop in the Lord’s church. Within the organization of Global United, Bishop Thomas serves as Provincial Bishop for the Southeastern Province, leading the states of Florida and Georgia.
Bishop Thomas is very active in the community receiving numerous awards and commendations for committed service to area schools, organizations, and leading the way for economic development in the city of Jacksonville. He sits on an advisory council with the sheriff of Jacksonville to assist in strategic thinking and planning to guide our communities in curtailing the crime that infests our neighborhoods. His preaching and anointing has allowed him to travel abroad proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Thomas is also a gifted songwriter, artist, and singer. His solo project
With You Always, which was an instant hit, allows him to express the gifts and talents God has given him vocally. He has also appeared on several national recording artists projects: the Georgia Mass Choir, It’s All Over; Allen and Allen, Love Sweet Love, Troy Sneed, Bless that Wonderful Name; Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Jr, Word and Worship Mass Choir , Because You are Worthy and What a Time; and Bishop AJ Wright, The Convergence Project, The Blood Still Saves.
Family oriented, he is the husband of Sandy Lorraine (united in marriage March 25, 1989). To their union they have two offspring, Leofric W. Thomas, Jr., who graduated from Bethune- Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL, with a B.A. in Business Management; and Kristian Lorraine who is currently attending Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, FL where she is majoring in Broadcast Journalism.