Rev. C. D. Thornton

Edgar's picture

Rev. Cullen Devon (C.D.) Thornton found a peaceful shallow place to cross the river surrounded by his loving family in his home in Lake Charles, Wednesday morning, July 5, 2017, at 3:30 am. He was born on July 10, 1936 to Rev. J. E. and Agatha Haymon Thornton, in Provencal, Louisiana. His grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, two sisters and three brothers were all oldtime preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His mother and father raised their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” The children learned early the words of the scriptures and the music of old-fashioned gospel revival songs - and they grew up loving both. D. Thornton’s entrance into ministry began at age eight, when he accompanied his sister, Marie Erickson, in evangelistic work, playing guitar and singing before she preached. In his teenage years, you could find him in downtown Goshen, Indiana on various street corners - with his brothers - playing instruments, singing, and taking turns preaching. The year was 1955 when he met Grace Yates. He readily admitted to love at first sight. She was singing in a trio at Youth Rally in Shreveport the first time he saw her. He leaned over to his brother and said, “I’m going to marry that girl singing lead.” He stole her heart and she took his name and his hand and married life began on June 19, 1956. It was a romance that would span six and a half decades, a love that would not die even beyond “till death do us part.” C. D. and Grace Thornton took their own place in ministry - and in family. Born to their union were three daughters: Carol, Becky, and Teci and one son, Curtis. Their ministry would take them across the south, pastoring churches, preaching The Gospel, building church buildings and reaching the lost. Their pastorates included five Louisiana locations: Bethel, Jordan Hill, Colfax, Jena, and Anacoco. For a couple of years they crossed the Sabine and pastored in Groves, Texas only to return to accept the pastorate at First UPC of Lake Charles in 1970, where they served tirelessly and unselfishly for 32 years. After almost two years of retirement - traveling and preaching, Brother Thornton was called out of retirement by then District Superintendent, T. F. Tenney, to serve as “interim pastor” at Shady Grove/Jena. At the end of three months there, the church board approached him to become Pastor, which he did with the unheard of election result of 100% of the voters in favor. He served there for over two years before promoting to Bishop, after his son, Curtis, was elected pastor there in 2004. Later C.D. and Gracie relocated back to Lake Charles and again began to enjoy a well-deserved retirement - still preaching, still singing, still praying - loving God, and loving people. D. Thornton is survived by his wife of 65 years, Grace Thornton. Cherishing the memories of their beloved father are four children and their spouses: Carol (Carl) Wheatly, Becky (Randy) Andrus, Teci (Donald) Culpepper, and Curtis (Marilyn) Thornton. He will never be forgotten by his nine grandchildren, and fifteen great-grands. They were the light of life. He was preceded in death by his parents, six sisters, and one brother. Left to remember him with love and fondness are his brothers, Don and LaVan Thornton. A final homegoing service was held at noon, Saturday, July 8, at the First Pentecostal Church of Lake Charles officiated by Rev. Jeffery Ralston, Rev. Randy Stanton, Rev. Jerry Dillion, Rev. Kevin Cox, and Rev. Brian Kinsey. Interment followed at Highland Memory Gardens in Lake Charles under direction of Johnson Funeral Home of Lake Charles.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet