Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Potomac Conference, George E. Thornton, Sr., Woodbridge church

The Passing of a Preacher

Story by Debra Anderson

The Potomac Conference family recently suffered the loss of one of its most prolific preachers, George E. Thornton, Sr.

In October 2021, Thornton was installed as the senior pastor of the Woodbridge (Va.) church. He served the church for just 10 months before his passing.

Thornton embarked on his new appointment with energy and enthusiasm. On his first day, he affectionately renamed the church, “The Bridge.” The members embraced it, seeing the name as a mantra to develop a deeper relationship with the local community.

Thornton joined the Potomac Conference after serving three years at the Magazine Street church in Louisville, Ky., although the majority of his pastoral ministry career was in the Allegheny East Conference.

A visionary pastor, Thornton enjoyed the admiration and respect of his colleagues. Paul Graham, associate ministerial director for the Potomac Conference, says of Thornton, “His preaching was on-time, on-point and on-message. George was known for his catchy and unique sermon titles. When he stood at the pulpit, he delivered messages that were profound and effective. Sharing the gospel of God’s redemptive mercy and grace was his imperative, and he delivered every time.”

Thornton was passionate about young people and education, serving as principal of both Pine Forge Academy (Pa.) and Dupont Park Adventist Junior Academy in Washington, D.C.

He is survived by Carolyn, his wife of 30 years, and their three adult children, Cortney, George Jr., and Justin.

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