Edward Roscoe Thomas was born December 27, 1916, on Hooper's Island , Maryland . He was born in the family home since that was the way they delivered babies on the islands in the Chesapeake Bay . Hooper's Island did not have running water, electricity, or automobiles. The island was home to commercial fishermen, to an ice house, to a crabbing factory, and to a Methodist Church .
Ed had chores. He would keep fire wood next to the stove and keep the lamps filled and the wicks trimmed. He loved the lamps, because he could read by the lamps. Ed truly enjoyed reading. In the one room school house, Ed read all of the available books. He even borrowed books from the teacher.
Ed graduated from a High School that had only 8 students, 4 boys and 4 girls. Ed dreamed about going off to college. Unfortunately, he did not have the money to go to school. So Ed worked for 4 years to save up enough money to pay for his college education. He was disappointed about the delay, but the delay made a difference in his life. In the freshman class of Western Maryland College was a beautiful young lady, named Louise Young. She had caught Ed's heart. It took Ed 5+ years to convince her to marry him and she finally did. As Ed would say, the 4 years delay in college was well worth the wait. He met his “soul mate.” Ed and Louise were married in 1944.
As a young man, Ed wondered about what to do. Should he work with his Dad? Should he become a minister? So he decided to ask God to help him make this life decision. He wound his pocket watch and put it on the fireside mantel. He prayed, “Lord, if you want me to be a minister, stop my watch.” He tried it two nights in a row. Strangely the watch did not stop. What went wrong? Why did God not stop his watch? Why? Because Ed realized that he was not testing God, but that God was testing him. Ed opened his heart and his life and dedicated his life to God.
Ed and Louise graduated from Western Maryland College . Ed did his seminary work in Boston University of Theology and Louise graduated from Wellesley College in Astronomy.
Ed's first church was called Hillsgrove, near Providence , Rhode Island . Louise was still finishing up her master's degree in Wellesley while Ed started his career in Rhode Island . Ed was left alone during the week. Ed could not cook and there were not any microwave ovens in those days. So for supper Ed would take a can of soup over to a parishioner's house. He would ask, “Would you heat up this soup for me?” Do you know how many times he used the same can of soup? Ed loved people. He “never met a stranger.”
Ed was sent a letter from a seminary friend about an assistant job in a church in Baton Rouge , LA. Ed and Louise searched their hearts and accepted this new call. Louise's parents were not happy in the move, but Ed and Louise and young son, David, moved to Baton Rouge . Ed and Louise joined the Louisiana Conference. Louise was not a minister. She was the minister's wife and took on that job with love and faith. Together, they served.
Ed was appointed to the following churches:
Ed loved his God, Ed loved the ministry, and Ed loved Louise. Ed loved his family. Ed loved his church family. Ed and Louise faithfully and lovingly served the United Methodist Conference.
|Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2009|