Death of Gordon Thompson

Dr. Gordon ThompsonDr. Gordon Thompson, Genevieve Sewell Shatford Emeritus Professor of Homiletics at Candler School of Theology died Friday, August 21, 2009, at the age of 91.

Funeral services were held on Sunday, August 30 at First United Methodist Church of Marietta with Dr. Sam Matthews, Dr. Sam Storey, Sr., Bishop L. Bevel Jones III, and former Georgia Supreme Court Justice Conley Ingram officiating.

A native of Athens, GA, Dr. Thompson was a graduate of the University of Georgia and the Candler School of Theology (1946). LaGrange College awarded him an honorary doctor of divinity degree in 1964 and in January 1993 he was awarded Candler's Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

A member of the North Georgia United Methodist Annual Conference, Dr. Thompson served as the pastor of the Walton Circuit, Dallas Church, Allen Memorial Church, and First Methodist Church of Marietta, Georgia. From 1963 to 1965, he was district superintendent of the Atlanta-Emory District. In retirement he served as pastor in charge at Elizabeth United Methodist Church in Marietta, as a chaplain at Kennestone Hospital, and as a pastoral counselor at First United Methodist Church of Marietta.

Dr. Thompson's ministry was rooted in teaching and included time as an instructor of Bible at Oxford College of Emory University and Shatford Professor of Homiletics at Candler from 1965 to 1987. Several generations of students learned to craft sermons under his guidance, and he played an active role in the planning and implementation of Candler's annual Ministers' Week for many years.

Elected a delegate to seven United Methodist General Conferences, Dr. Thompson was a member of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference and the World Methodist Conference delegations. He served as a trustee of Young Harris College and Wesleyan College, as a member of the board for the Protestant Radio and Television Center, and as chair of the North Georgia Board of Ordained Ministry.

A commanding lecturer and preacher, Dr. Thompson was the author of four books and numerous articles written for lay and clergy leaders, including Living the Easter Faith: The Power of the Resurrection in the Modern World (2004: Looking Glass Books.)