Dr. Stephen John Thurston

Recanting early childhood memories of “playing church” with his siblings, Rev. Stephen John Thurston always dreamt of becoming a minister of the Gospel. With his late grandfather, Rev. Elijah Thurston and his late father, Rev. John Thurston as prominent and powerful model pastors of the New Covenant M.B. Church, he pursued his passion for the Word of God and accepted the divine calling in 1970.


Within the next ten years, Pastor Thurston was ordained and appointed assistant pastor; earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion (Bishop College/ Dallas, TX); was elected Co-pastor; and in 1979 became the proud Pastor of New Covenant.


A much sought after revivalist, Pastor’s ministry has impacted the lives of countless souls around the world. Under his visionary and progressive leadership of 35 years, New Covenant has grown and flourished. On the heels of his grandfather (the founder) and his father (the mover), Rev. Stephen became the builder of the Church. In 2008, a $13 million Worship Center was built to continue to develop ministries and to meet and nurture the spiritual, emotional, physical and educational needs of people. 


Aside from his pastoral duties/responsibilities, Pastor Thurston has been a member of a number of religious, civic and social organizations. Most noteworthy were his positions as President of the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. Int’l and that of President of the Illinois National Baptist State Convention (serving in each capacity for a period of 11 years).


Undaunted by the demands upon him, Pastor continues to be committed to the cause of education. Receiving his Master of Divinity Degree (Payne Theological Seminary/Wilberforce, OH) in 2013 and serving as Executive Board Member of Trustees at Florida Memorial University, it is his desire that his members (young and old) see determination and fortitude through his actions. To his credit, in 2007, Pastor Thurston authored his first book, “Attitude:  The Paintbrush of the Mind”, a refreshing spin-off from Jesus’ masterful Sermon on the Mount.


He is married to his childhood classmate Joyce and they are the proud parents of two sons: Rev. Stephen II and Christon and two daughters: Nicole and Teniece.