Senior Pastor

Rev. Sapada Thomas, M.Div.

Rev. Sapada Thomas was born and raised in Ripley, MS as a member of Moses Chapel United Methodist Church. As a youth there, he was an active member of the choir, youth ministry, MYF president, worship leader, and member of other various ministries. At a young age, he sensed God had a higher calling on his life.


In 1994, he married Amy Luster. After marriage, they both joined First Evangelical Baptist Church (FEBC) in Ripley, MS, where they immediately became active members. However, Rev. Thomas began to get inspiration and a sense of a Divine calling on his life through deeper study in the Word of God and experiencing God on a deeper level. He was ordained a Deacon of FEBC in March 1996. Continuing to experience a higher calling, he surrendered into preaching ministry in December 1996. He preached his first sermon and was licensed to preach as a minister in March 1997 at FEBC. The sermon was entitled, “The Lost and Found”. He was later ordained in pastoral ministry at FEBC and pastored his first church, St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church in Tishomingo, MS in 1999.


Although a pastor in the Baptist denomination, Rev. Thomas was more familiar with the structure and dynamics of the United Methodist Church. Therefore, God lead him to return to the United Methodist Church in 2001, where he once again became a member of Moses Chapel U.M. Church. He lead and/or assisted various ministries of Moses Chapel from 2001 to 2004, while going through the candidacy for ministry process. He was then appointed as pastor of Mt. Moriah United Methodist Church in Corinth, MS. He served Mt. Moriah from 2004 to 2010. While at Mt. Moriah, he was able to lead the congregation in becoming more active in the community, provide positive leadership, grow the church spiritually through preaching and teaching, and start a youth dance team that grew to approximately 20 people. After serving at Mt. Moriah, he was appointed as an associate pastor to First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Tupelo, MS. His primary responsibility was to start a new worship service at Helping Hands (a food/clothing outreach of Tupelo First), which was successful for approximately 2 years. This ministry served approximately 50 youth and children, but for lack of adult participation and financial support, he was moved to become a full-time associate pastor at Tupelo First. As a full-time associate pastor, his primary responsibilities were to lead The Invitation, a contemporary worship service; promote and organize the mission ministry, preaching/teaching, prayer ministry, pastoral care and other responsibilities as designated by the senior pastor. He also assisted with youth ministry, leading on and off campus retreats, mission trips, worship, and small groups. While leading the mission ministry, he effectively organized and lead multiple mission trips to Tegucigalpa, Honduras where they built homes, fed communities, and provided school uniforms and supplies to many Honduran children. He has also traveled to Africa, preaching and teaching at various Nigerian churches. Rev. Thomas served Tupelo First from 2010 to 2015.


Rev. Thomas is also an educated man. He received his Associate of Arts degree from Northeast Mississippi Community College (Booneville, MS) in Psychology in 2001. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rust College (Holly Springs, MS) in Sociology in 2005, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Lastly, he furthered his preparation for Christian ministry by earning his Master’s of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary (Memphis, TN) in 2015, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and received the Hoyt Hickman award to excellence in worship liturgy. He is currently employed as a Mental Health Technician at North Mississippi State Hospital in Tupelo, MS, and the very proud pastor of Oxford First United Methodist Church in Oxford, MS.


Rev. Thomas loves preaching and teaching God’s Word. He loves leading and engaging in corporate and individual worship as God inhabits the praises of His people. His favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”


He has been married to the beautiful, Amy Luster Thomas for 24 years. They have three children: Antonieo, Khadijah, and DeVonte’. They also have four grandchildren: A’myleion, Antieona, Khadence, and Khamyiah. His family loves worshiping and serving God with all their heart, mind, and soul. It is an honor and privilege to serve and minister at Oxford First United Methodist Church!!!!