Jerry D. Thomas
Jerry D. Thomas grew up on a farm in East Texas, the middle of five children born to Pastor and Mrs. Hagar Thomas. He graduated from Valley Grande Academy in Weslaco, Texas, and married Kitty Barron, daughter of Evangelist Dick and Jeanne Barron, shortly thereafter. Together they attended Southwestern Adventist University and began a family. After the birth of their first two children—Jon and Jennifer—Jerry graduated with a B.A. in Theology from SWAU. The family moved to Berrien Springs, Michigan, to attend the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University, and there their third child, Jeremy, was born. A year later, they accepted a call to pastor and teach at Highland View Academy in Hagerstown, Maryland.During the six years he taught religion and pastored there, Jerry finished a master’s degree in religious education at Andrews University. He also began his writing career, with stories and articles published in Guide, Insight, the Adventist Review, and the Journal of Adventist Education.In 1991, Jerry accepted a call to Pacific Press as an assistant book editor. The next year, he wrote the first of his beloved Detective Zack books and began his successful career as a book author. In 1994, he became the book editor for Pacific Press, a position he held until 2002.Today, Jerry is the author of more than 30 books and hundreds of stories. His books, which have sold more than one million copies, are being read around the world in ten different languages. With his Detective Zack, Shoebox Kids, Great Stories for Kids, Mixed-up Max, and What We Believe books, Jerry has written more for children than anyone in Adventist history.In 2001, Jerry took on the biggest challenge of his writing career. With the support of the White Estate, he adapted The Desire of Ages, the Ellen White classic on the life of Jesus, into modern, simpler English. Messiah has been a best-selling book since it was released in 2002 and it continues to help readers see Jesus more clearly. His adaptation of Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, called Blessings, was released in 2009.After serving as communication director for the Southwestern Union and editor of the Southwestern Union Record for five years, Jerry returned to Pacific Press as vice-president for product development in 2008. He and Kitty live in Nampa, Idaho.