Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Thomas was the minister of Alfred Place Baptist Church in Aberystwyth, Wales, from 1965 for the next fifty years. Born in 1938 in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, he became a Christian as a teenager in his home church, the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hengoed, in 1954. After grammar school, he read Biblical Studies, Greek and Philosophy at Cardiff University (BA, 1963). He found fellowship in the Inter-varsity Fellowship group, and was influenced by the ministry of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and reading books such as J. I. Packer’s Fundamentalism and the Word of God, Whitefield’s Journals, Lloyd-Jones’ Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, and J. C. Ryle’s Holiness. At that time he also began to take The Banner of Truth magazine, which he has served for some years as Associate Editor.
He preached for the first time in 1959 and ‘thenceforward Sunday after Sunday’. In 1961 he travelled to the United States to study for three years at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, under men such as Edward J. Young, Ned Stonehouse, John Murray, Cornelius Van Til, Meredith Kline, Norman Shepherd, Jay Adams and Edmund Clowney. Returning to Wales after graduation (M.Div, 1964), he married Iola, ‘the girl back home’. Assured during the last months of his course at seminary of the call to preach, he began his first and only pastorate at Alfred Place the following year.
Geoff has systematically preached the Bible to his congregation ever since, and has published the complete text of almost a thousand sermons on the church’s website. He has served as the chairman of the Grace Churches of England and Wales, and of the Association of Evangelical Churches of Wales. He is the author of scores of articles and ten books, including The Holy Spirit, Daniel: Servant of God Under Four Kings, Philip and the Revival in Samaria, Ernest Reisinger: A Biography, The Holy Spirit, Brownlow North, The Sure Word of God and You Could Have It All, as well as booklets Reading the Bible, Satisfied with the Scriptures, How Do I Kill Remaining Sin? How Can I Please God in Everything? What is True Religion? some of which have been published by the Trust. He has also written a number of children’s books. A Festschift was published in his honour edited by Joel Beeke and Derek Thomas entitled The Holy Spirit and Reformed Spirituality. His autobiography appeared at the end of October 2021. He has been a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the world, and is a Visiting Professor of Historical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2011 Westminster Seminary awarded him a Doctor of Divinity degree.
Geoff’s wife Iola after 53 years of marriage died in October 2016, passing, as Geoff wrote, ‘from the state of grace to the state of glory’. Two of Geoff’s daughters are married, one to a deacon and one to an elder. A third daughter is a pastor’s wife, mother of five sons. Geoff has eight grandsons and one granddaughter and, so far, five great grandchildren. His grandson, Rhodri Brady, followed him to the pastorate in Aberystwyth in 2016. He remarried in 2018, Barbara Homrighausen, an old family friend and a former member of Westminster Chapel under Dr. Lloyd-Jones, and also later of the London Free Church of Scotland congregation, and now the International Presbyterian Church. Geoff’s latter years have been largely spent in writing books, He is a member of Amyand Park Chapel where he occasionally preaches. He travels extensively to speak in different churches.