Art Thomas is a missionary‐evangelist who travels the world to train and equip Christians for Spirit-filled ministry. He is the president and CEO of Wildfire Ministries International — a global ministry that seeks to spread the Gospel to difficult regions, train pastors, plant churches, build orphanages, and more. Art is author of The Word of Knowledge in Action, the director and producer of the movie Paid in Full, and the lead author and developer at SupernaturalTruth.com. He lives with his wife, Robin, and two boys, Josiah and Jeremiah, in Canton, Michigan.
My Church History, Education, and Background
When my mother was 40 years old, the Holy Spirit told her to have one more child. It took some time to convince my dad; but lo and behold, along came Arthur on my mom’s 42nd birthday. From then on, I was brought up in a Christian home and rarely missed a week of church.
I was raised in a little Assemblies of God church named Canton Calvary where I attended until I was 16 years old. During that time, I attended Northville Christian School from preschool through the 8th grade, was homeschooled for high school, and started college early at Schoolcraft College when I was 16. There I earned an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Development and Education, which laid a great foundation for the time I would later spend in Children’s Ministry, and now as I’m building orphanages and training staff.
During my early years, I was very involved in the Royal Rangers ministry, earning the Gold Medal of Achievement and National Royal Ranger of the Year. I also served in a couple national staff positions and helped write a piece of the new curriculum in 2000. But after achieving all I could in Royal Rangers, I found that “over-achievement” failed to fill the inner void in my heart and could not set me free from my sin. I began to feel spiritually hungry for something more.
In the summer before turning 17, my family and I felt the Lord was calling us to a new church: Northville Christian Assembly of God. There I became quickly involved in the youth group and became a worship leader, Sunday School teacher, and active participant in dramas and church plays. I was 17 when I preached my first sermon there at Northville Christian. It was during this time that the Lord began transforming my life and planted a deep passion in my heart for His Kingdom.
After three years of active ministry and a series of supernatural confirmations, the Lord prompted me to help plant a church in Fowlerville, Michigan. For the first whole year, we didn’t invite anyone new. It was a time for the Holy Spirit to work on our own hearts and heal many inner wounds that only He can touch. It was during this time that I finally found freedom from a secret addiction to pornography and lust.
There at Fowlerville Freedom Center, Assembly of God, I served as a key staff member, worship leader, and youth director. Our teens began hearing and experiencing God on a weekly basis, and our youth group grew to some 20 kids rather quickly in that little town. The rest of our church began to grow as well (mostly as a result of the freshly on-fire teens who were shamelessly inviting friends and family), and we went from 10 people to more than 50 people in a matter of about 2 months, continuing to grow from there.
In September of 2007, the Lord challenged me to lay down my role in youth ministry and pursue something different. I had been leading a small group of young adults at my girlfriend (now wife) Robin’s house for about a year and a half, and it had grown to about 8 or 9 people. I chose to follow the Holy Spirit, and He responded with a series of divine opportunities to demonstrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It started with our group ministering to a couple who were encountering evil spirits in their home. God set them radically free and changed their lives to follow Christ. Soon after that we baptized them in bathtubs, and it wasn’t long before we had a stream of new people coming. In January of 2008, our little group grew to roughly 30 people. New converts became a staple of our group, and the vibrant life of the Holy Spirit stuck with us.
For almost a year, we had a Monday “church” meeting where people from various denominations came together for deep fellowship, open discussion, and prayer. We had a Wednesday night men’s group, a Saturday afternoon ladies’ group, and soon came the Wildfire School of Supernatural Ministry, which met on the first and third Sundays of each month to train some 25 people in supernatural ministry.
On July 4 of 2008, I became engaged to my girlfriend of 6½ years, Robin Fraser. Previously, I had been ministering at Fowlerville Freedom Center while Robin remained at my former church in Northville. Both of us were actively involved in ministry and knew that we were in the right places. Nevertheless, when we became engaged, I knew the Lord was telling me to return to Northville as well. My pastor and another man from my church confirmed that they sensed the Holy Spirit saying the same thing, so on September 1 of 2008, I left Fowlerville Freedom Center to return to the church that had sent us out some 4½ years earlier, Northville Christian Assembly.
Little did I know that this transition would lead to my being added to the pastoral staff. I simply came to my senior pastor, Brooks McElhenny, and asked him what I could do to help him fulfill his vision, and he asked me what my passions were. I shared about my love for youth, young adults, and church planting. The timing was perfect. We began the interview process, and on November 1, 2008, I was hired on staff as an assistant pastor in the Student Ministries department.
During that time, I completed theology classes through Global University and earned my first level of credentials with the Assemblies of God, Michigan District. (I am presently a “licensed minister” with the Assemblies of God and furthering my education toward ordination.)
In that role, I provided oversight, training, direction, and counsel for the Wednesday night children’s programs, 10th-12th grade youth group, and young adult ministry. I was involved in a school outreach to 8th graders and helped with the ongoing internship program. I also oversaw the nursery program for about a year and a half.
With the publishing of my first book, it became clear that I wouldn’t be able to devote as much of my attention to the student ministries. I have a deep love for the students I spent those years with, but I have a deeper love for my Lord. As much as it hurt my heart to leave, I know in my spirit that the timing was perfect, and I’m so grateful for God making it an easy transition. Northville Christian Assembly is still my home church, and I am so grateful for the friendships I have developed during my time in ministry there.
Today, I have a multi-faceted ministry that includes writing, speaking, filmmaking, and more. My first book, The Word of Knowledge in Action, was published in April of 2011. Since then I have written and published several more books and even produced some movies. All these are available — along with plenty of free content — at SupernaturalTruth.com.
In September of 2012, I attended the Reinhard Bonnke School of Evangelism — a four-day training for 100 evangelists from around the world, during which Evangelists Reinhard Bonnke, Daniel Kolenda, Todd White, and others poured out wisdom, insights, and practical advice. The relationships built during this time have been amazing, and the information learned has produced much fruit for the Kingdom.
Around that same time, I founded Wildfire Ministries International — a multifaceted nonprofit organization designed to plant churches, train pastors, build orphanages, and spread the Kingdom of God like wildfire in partnership with indigenous Christians around the world. Our first partnership in Uganda has trained around 1,000 pastors from various denominations, directly planted 10 churches, and is partially finished building an orphanage where around 300 children are already being educated while we continue construction. We also have an ongoing connection in Brazil as well as individual outreaches in multiple other countries.
My Wife, Robin Thomas
On June 7, 2009, I married my sweetheart, Robin. Our story is a testimony in itself. She’s the first and only girl I ever dated or kissed, and God gave us the supernatural grace to keep ourselves pure throughout the 7 years before we were married.
Robin is a tremendous asset to my ministry. She has a heart of compassion and wisdom beyond her years. Through Robin’s prayers, God has supernaturally healed people of degenerative eye diseases, torn muscles, and much more in the name of Jesus.
For several years (before we had our boys), Robin was an American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter in the State of Michigan and regularly interpreted church services and events. She is gifted in evangelism as well and loves having conversations with the Deaf Community about their spiritual lives. Robin earned her BA degree from Madonna University, one of the most prestigious schools in the nation for ASL interpreting.
Robin exhibits a level of humility that regularly challenges me, and I’m so grateful to the Lord that she is my wife. Her prophetic dreams, insights from Scripture, and love for people who are hurting have all played key roles in the shape and direction of our ministry. This ministry and my service to the Kingdom wouldn’t be possible without her Spirit-filled support.
Our Boys: Josiah Samuel & Jeremiah James
Our first baby, Josiah Samuel Thomas, was born a little over 5 weeks early on January 29th, 2011. He weighed in at 5 lbs. 3 oz. and was 19 inches long.
Our second baby, Jeremiah James (J.J.) Thomas was also born a little over 5 weeks early on August 13th, 2012. He was 5 lbs. 9 oz. and was 18 inches long.
Joey and J.J. are both healthy, growing boys, and Robin and I are so proud of them. Both boys minister healing in Jesus’ name (sometimes to each other and sometimes to mom and dad!), and both love going to church. They truly are blessings from the Lord!
Thank you for taking the time to learn about my family and me. If you would like to read my personal testimony of how the Lord Jesus set me free from an addiction to pornography and lust, please visit my Testimony page.