Bishop Brian R. Thompson, Sr.

Presiding Prelate Western Episcopal District Pastor

The Reverend Dr. Brian R. Thompson, Sr. is a native of Chapel Hill, NC. He received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Augustine College, Raleigh, NC. Rev. Dr. Thompson holds a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary, Trotwood, OH. In June 2020, he received the Doctor of Ministry Degree. His DMIN project was “Overcoming the Obstacles that Hinder Substantial Church Growth.” He is a Sadler-Marshall Scholar of Transformational Leadership.

In July 2021, he was elected the 106th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He was assigned the Western Episcopal District which includes Alaska, Oregon-Washington, Southwest Rocky Mountain, California, Arizona, and Colorado.

Bishop Thompson’s service in the AME Zion Church began in 1994. He has served in many pastoral positions: Long’s Memorial AME Zion Church, Durham, NC, Mt. View AME Zion Church, Moncure, NC, Union Grove AME Zion Church, Edenton, NC. In 2001 he was appointed to Simon Temple as the Senior Pastor, where he allowed the Lord to lead him in growing the church from 300 to 3000 members. He also presently serves as the Presiding Elder of the St. Croix District of the U.S. Virgin Islands Annual Conference.

Community Activism and Involvement:

Bishop Thompson is a member of the North Carolina Governor’s Pastoral Advisory Board, the Fayetteville, NC Pastor’s Coalition, and the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County. He was hand-selected by President Barak Obama to serve as a member of the National Community Policing Initiative (COPS). He is the founder of the Brian R. Thompson Annual Golf Tournament, which has raised and donated well over $100,000 in college scholarships to those pursuing higher education.

Board Affiliations:

Bishop Thompson’s religious affiliations include Chairman of the Connectional Finance Committee, The AME Zion Church, Chairman Finance Committee, Central NC Conference, Eastern NC Episcopal District, and an advisor to the Connectional YACM Steering Committee.

Awards and Honors:

Bishop Thompson has received a myriad of awards. In 2009, he received the Minister of the Year, Cumberland County, NC, Pastor of the Year (2012), The Old North State Award (2014), The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor Pat McCrory (2017). In 2017 Rev. Dr. Thompson received the Key to the City of Fayetteville, and August 12th, 2017, was deemed Brian R. Thompson, Sr. Day.

Civic and Community Affiliations:

Bishop Thompson is a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Bishop Thompson is committed to community outreach. He is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).


Bishop Thompson remains faithful and committed to his first ministry. He is married to Reverend Felica Raines Thompson (Missionary Supervisor of the Western Episcopal District) and is the proud father of two miracles from God—Alexis and Brian, II.  Bishop Thompson is a visionary who has a kingdom agenda. Some things are no longer negotiable. He challenges everyone with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “If a man has not found something to die for, he is not fit to live.”


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