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Presiding Elder Linda F. Thomas-Martin

Presiding Elder Linda Faye Thomas-Martin was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, where she attended Memphis City Schools. After graduating from Northside High School, she graduated from Sawyer College of Business, Memphis, TN. 

Continuing her education, Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin focused her graduate studies in ministerial education classes in Pastoral Ministry, Pastoral Counseling, and New Testament Studies at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, GA, and received a Systematic Theology Certification with a concentration in New Testament Studies at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary in Louisville, KY. Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin has also obtained additional graduate work at Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin served as the first female Dean of the 13th Episcopal District, West Kentucky Conference. On the connectional level of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin was appointed as the Chairman of the Election Committee, Connectional Women’s Missionary Society, for two quadrennials; 1991 and 1995; and also served as Past President, West Kentucky Conference Branch, Women’s Missionary Society, for two quadrennials; 1987 – 1995. As an Administrator, she worked as the Property/Site Manager of Henry M. Greene Apartments - a 125 multi-family facility owned and operated by the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Presently, Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin is serving as the first female Presiding Elder of the Thirteenth Episcopal District; appointed by Bishop Fredrick H. Talbot in 2003 of the Louisville-Paducah District, West Kentucky Annual Conference. On December 1, 2007 Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin was appointed to the South Memphis District of the West Tennessee Annual Conference by Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie. She has served as a member of the Kentucky Council of Churches (Board Member), Churches Uniting In Christ (Local and Regional Task Force), Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition, NAACP, and World Federation of Methodist Women. Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin is also a Certified Occupancy Specialist through the National Center for Housing Management in Washington, D.C., and is currently serving as President of the 13th Episcopal District Presiding Elder’s Council for a second time. Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin was elected Treasurer of Citizens Housing Corporation, Inc. of Louisville, Kentucky, and a member of the Board of Directors of Greater Community Housing, Inc. and Clothe-A-Child Consortium Board of Directors, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin pastorates include Ward’s Chapel AME Church, Scottsville, Kentucky and Greater St. James AME Church, Louisville, Kentucky where under her leadership a massive renovation was completed and the church grew spiritually and numerically. Her highest accomplishments at Greater St. James AME Church, Louisville, Kentucky was a corporate partnership with Nationwide Insurance Company, a weekly radio broadcast, and the Brotherhood Fellowship (A ministry for male empowerment), and a sainted and soulful “Diamonds in the Rough” ministry that enlightened and encouraged women in various walks of life that provided many outstanding services in the community and city.

Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin has conducted workshops and classes on such topics as Church Administration, Evangelism, Staff Training and Development, New Testament Studies, and Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin is an ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In addition to ministerial responsibilities such as preaching, counseling, and teaching, Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin founded “Those Preaching Women”, a Friday Night Revival in the West Kentucky Conference, and Sisters of Strength Ministry (S.O.S), an educational ministry of the church that is responsible for discipleship and development of new and old members, along with various other ministries inclusive of men, women, boys and girls.

In 2008, Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin was elected by the 13th Episcopal District Delegation to the serve as the Chairman of the 13th District Delegation 47th Session of the General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. This was a historical journey as the first female elected as Chairman in the history of the Connectional Church and 13th Episcopal District led by the first female elected and consecrated Bishop (117), Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie.  In 2012, she was elected, once again, by the 13th Episcopal District Delegation to the serve as the Chairman of the 13th Episcopal District’s Delegation during the 49th Session of the General Conference in Nashville, TN. 
In 2009, Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin was selected by Dr. James Wade, Executive Director of Church Growth and Evangelism, to teach a class to all Presiding Elders in attendance on the “Presiding Elder’s Perspective on Church Growth” in Jacksonville, Florida.

In February, 2010, Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin was appointed to serve on President Barack Obama’s 2010 Census Faith-Based Summit for Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin was a contributor of several articles, commentary in “God’s Fearless Prophet”, and “Pastors new role in the 21st century” Courier Journal Newspaper. She also has received honors and awards such as YMCA Black Achiever, Kentucky Colonel, and Church Woman United Service Award. She is also a contributing writer to Not Without A Struggle, 2012 revised edition by Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie.

Recently, Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin was reappointed to the South Memphis District as Presiding Elder by Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath, Presiding Prelate of the Thirteenth Episcopal District.   She was also elected as Chair of the Judicial Committee for the West Tennessee Conference under the administration of Bishop Jeffrey Leath.

Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin is single, and has three wonderful children; Rickey Clyde Martin, Fionna Renee Hall Martin, and Lula Marie Martin-Sanderson (Jamal Sanderson), and two grandchildren; Alexis Faye “Miracle” Martin and Zion Thomas “The Greatest” Martin. 

Presiding Thomas - Martin is a wise woman with a dream and vision: preaching and teaching to congregations by utilizing the numerous ministries established under her leadership. Under her ministry she emphasizes “Victory Through Prayer and Praise” leading retreats, seminars, and workshops. She is a preacher of power and clarity; full of integrity and articulation. Trying to relate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to men and women in all walks of life, while making the eternal work live in the present age.
Presiding Elder Thomas-Martin is abundantly blessed to be serving in the "Super Sensational" South Memphis District of the West Tennessee Annual Conference.