Rev. Melech E. M. Thomas is an ordained minister and community activist with a heart for creating innovative ministry and developing leadership skills amongst millennials. “Rev. Melech”, as he is affectionately known, currently serves as the Associate Pastor to Children and Youth at Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland, IL, where he is responsible for programming and the spiritual development of nearly 400 young people ages 3‐19, and nearly 100 adult volunteers. Melech is a graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Culture and a Minor in Community and Economic Development. He also received his Master of Divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, under the tutelage of Dean John W. Kinney.
As a student‐leader at Howard, Melech served as the coordinator of the HU "Do You Care?" Anti‐Gun Violence Campaign, where as many as 500 students participated in anti‐gun violence events on campus and in the surrounding community. Through the campaign's efforts, over 3,000 students signed a petition calling for a White House National Summit on Gun Violence and a permanent reinstatement of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. He has also completed studies at both Chicago Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary, respectively.
In 2010, he was selected by the Hilltop as the most influential Howard University student on campus in its annual “Hilltop 24” listing of influential students and he was selected as “Who’s Who Among American College Students”. Recently, his courageous leadership and service during the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore were featured on the front page of the New York Times website as the “Young Leader in Baltimore.” His prophetic voice and his insightful commentary have been sought after by local, national, and international media outlets such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN International w/ Don Lemon, ABC News’ “This Week”, CBS’ “The Early Show”, PBS’ “The Rock Newman Show”, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Belgium’s public broadcasting network VTR and print publications like The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Boston Herald, Buzzfeed, Black College Wire, BET.com, and The Final Call. A portion of his preaching and teaching has been used by the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church.
As a nationally respected preacher of the Gospel, Melech served as an Assistant to Father Michael Pfleger at the Faith Community of Saint Sabina in Chicago, Illinois for three years. He also served under the Rev. Dr. Frank M. Reid III at Bethel AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland, as the Ministerial Intern for Community Transformation. Melech also served as the Minister for Youth, College, and Young Adults at the Ward Memorial AME Church in Washington, DC, where he created a weekly Saturday service entitled “The Bridge”, a contemporary worship experience geared towards the unchurched. As the former chairperson of the Young Ministers’ Roundtable of the AME Church’s Second Episcopal District, Melech led the efforts to raise nearly $5,000 for the AME Church’s Homeless Shelter in Raleigh, NC.