In October of 2019, the Rt. Reverend Mildred B. Hines, the presiding prelate of the South Atlantic Episcopal District (SAED) of the A.M.E. Zion Church, appointed the Rev. Thelma Gordon as the pastor of Jones Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Columbia, SC. Rev. Gordon succeeds Reverend Dr. Terrance J. Jones, who was reassigned to pastor Baum Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Summerville, SC. Rev. Gordon was welcomed by the congregation in a fellowship reception held on Sunday, November 10, 2019.
Jones Memorial was founded in 1889 by Rev. B. White. The first congregation met in a house on Main Street where the partitions had been removed. The church subsequently moved to the corner of Sumter and Blossom Streets in the Ward One area of Columbia. The first brick church was erected on this corner. As a result of Urban Renewal and the expansion of the University of South Carolina, the church relocated to its present location at 2400 Barhamville Road.
Rev. Gordon is the 43rd pastor to serve the members of Jones Memorial. Rev. Gordon comes to Jones Memorial with 32 years of prior experience. She successfully served as the first female pastor of Liberty Hill AME Zion Church, Lake Wylie, SC. She has also served as pastor of the Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church, Blacksburg, SC and the Mt. Pleasant A.M.E. Zion Church in Gastonia, NC. Rev. Gordon attended North Carolina A&T State University, where she majored in early childhood education with a minor in psychology. She has continued her education by matriculating at Grand Canyon University, majoring in Christian Studies and is currently enrolled in continuing education classes in Religions Studies. She has spent many years as a foster parent, foster parent advocate and trainer with the San Jose, California Department of Social Services. She has worked for several years in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System.
Rev. Thelma Gordon is the wife of Christopher Gordon, a mother and a grandmother. She has been anointed by God to preach a Rhema and prophetic word into the lives of His people. She is fully dedicated to advancing the Kingdom of God by winning souls for Christ through witness (living) and proclamation of the word of God. Her favorite scripture is 1 Cor.2:9 “But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Pastor Gordon is quoted as saying: “I now have the proud privilege and distinct honor of serving the Lord and the people of God as the First Female Pastor here at Jones Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Columbia, SC.”