Rev. Nancy Elaine Thornton
Rev. Nancy Elaine Thornton grew up in a home where faith and practice were intricately woven into daily living. A “Southerner” by birth, she spent her formative years in South Carolina and Georgia. She is a sixth generation Presbyterian. Her grandfather, thrice removed, was an Elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Danville, Virginia. In 1993, her mother was designated by the national church as a “Woman of Faith,” having served as a Presbyterian missionary, Elder and Deacon.
Ms. Thornton spent her high school years at a Presbyterian Church related boarding school, Boggs Academy in Keysville, Georgia, where her father was the Headmaster. It was here that she developed an enthusiastic appreciation for worship as each school day began with chapel.
She attended Hampton Institute (now University) where she majored in Mass Media Arts and minored in Journalism and African American Literature. Her life-time love of the performing arts was developed and honed here as she spent as much time in the theatre as she did her own major department.
Following her undergraduate studies, Ms. Thornton was a reporter and newscaster in the broadcast industry in Georgia. She received
several industry acclamations for her in-depth human interest reporting.
She studied at Boston University’s School of Public Communication where she earned a Masters degree in Broadcast Administration. She taught Journalism and Broadcasting at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus and Mary Holmes Junior College (a former church related school) in Westpoint. While in Mississippi her sense of calling to the ministry became clear. When she was taken under care by the Presbytery of Georgia (now the Presbytery of Northeast Georgia) one of the questions posed to her on the floor of Presbytery was “Did living in Mississippi drive you to preach?” Her response: “Amen.”
Ms. Thornton earned her M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary where she concentrated in Pastoral Care and Preaching. While in seminary, prior to denominational reunion, she spent many hours working at the denomination’s headquarters in New York City helping to develop mass media to encourage growth and support of the Presbyterian Church.
Once ordained, Rev. Thornton served as Interim Pastor at the United Church of Montbello, in Denver, Colorado (150 members). She has also served as Interim Associate for First Presbyterian Church (400 members) in Lakewood, Colorado, and as Pastor/Head of Staff for Mountain View Community Church in Aurora, Colorado (200 members).
While living in Colorado, Rev. Thornton served in a variety of ministry settings, including chaplaincies in a psychiatric hospital and in a center for the Developmentally Disabled as well as an adjunct professor of Preaching and Theology of Ministry Practicum at Iliff School of Theology.
Rev. Thornton is proud of her children. Her daughter, Christian, graduated this summer with an MA from London University of the Arts. Her son, Kenyatta, is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.