Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary 1979
Pastor, St. James African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Chicago, Illinois
Rev. Jimmy Leon Thorn was born in Burkeville, Alabama and received his early education in the Lowndes County public-school system (Alabama). He later earned a B.S. degree from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa and an M.Div. degree from Garrett-Evangelical in 1979.
Before attending seminary, Rev. Thorn served for two years in the U.S. Army, where he worked as a medical technologist. After leaving the Army, he continued his work as a medical technologist, holding positions at various Chicago hospitals: University of Illinois Hospital and Medical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Michael Reese Hospital.
Rev. Thorn began his ministry career by serving Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Chicago; two years later, he took up a 15-year pastorate at St. Matthews AME Church in Argo, Illinois. He has actively served on many boards and committees of the AME Connection and is currently a member of both the Evangelism and Finance Committee and the Board of Examiners.
In September, 1997, at the 115th Session of the Chicago Annual Conference, Rev. Thorn became the 21st pastor of historic St. James African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Chicago. A man of courage, vision, humility, and integrity, Rev. Thorn has truly been an inspiration to the St. James church family. As a leader committed to doing God’s will and following the teachings of Christ, Rev. Thorn continues to carry out the mission of the AME Church, and to bring St. James AME church to the pinnacle of serving in this present age.