Christian 03

Willie E. Thomas, Jr.

February 16, 1960 ~ October 14, 2021 (age 61)


Willie Emmanuel Thomas Jr., affectionately known to most as “Willie,” is the first-born son to the union of Willie Emmanuel Thomas Sr. and Dora Ruth Thomas in Cincinnati, Ohio.  After an extraordinary life, he entered into eternal rest with Christ on Thursday October 14, 2021 at 7:12pm at Mercy East Hospital.  Willie accepted Jesus Christ as his lord and savior at an early age, at New Hope Baptist Church (now New Hope Missionary Baptist Church) under the leadership of the late Pastor J.M. Stephens and went on to live a life dedicated to ministry.  


Willie graduated from Woodward High School in 1978 and as a freshman he played varsity football at defensive tackle and goal line defense positions. Willie was one of only two players to hold this distinction.  As a result of his athletic talent, Willie received a football scholarship to attend Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee where he completed his bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing in 1982.  After returning to Cincinnati, Willie began a successful media and public relations career while working at Burke Marketing.  He also lent his talents to several local radio stations and The Cincinnati Business Courier for several years before joining Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship full-time as Pastor over Congregational Life.   


He joined Christ Emmanuel Baptist Church (now Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship) under the leadership of Pastor Michael E. Dantley.  Under Pastor (now Bishop) Dantley’s teachings, Willie accepted his calling to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and became an Ordained Minister.  Willie tirelessly and faithfully served Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship (“CECF”) members as Pastor over Congregational life.  Some of his duties as Pastor included visiting the sick and hospitalized members, serving communion, officiating weddings, and performing baptisms and baby dedications to name a few.  Willie also served the City of Cincinnati as a member of the CRC Board and as Cincinnati Police Department Chaplin. 


Willie also served in the Men’s Fellowship, CECF Street Fest, and countless special events.  Willie skillfully and lovingly counseled CECF members and guided them in the ways of Christ with commitment and diligence.  People literally called him day and night seeking his counsel, and he was always available.  He was a hands-on Pastor. 


Affectionately known as Pastor Will or “PW,” Willie served the leadership of Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship, the members, and their families until his health would not allow him to continue in this capacity.  Even though he was no longer physically present at CECF, his commitment and dedication continued.  The hospital room became his office room.  He counseled, mentored, and ministered to countless people even as he laid in the Intensive Care Unit.  The staff members and administrators of each nursing facility or hospital where he was treated were astounded by his generous spirit.  Even other patients sought him for a listening ear and motivation.


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Funeral Service
October 23, 2021

10:00 AM
Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship
2324 May St.
Cincinnati, OH 45206

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