A High Point pastor just got the thrill of a lifetime.
He performed the national anthem at the 2020 ACC Football Championship game in Charlotte on Saturday, Dec. 19,
The well-known Rev. Frank Thomas, who is pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church of High Point, does a lot of singing in addition to preaching – and his deep and melodic voice caught the attention of game organizers earlier this year.
High Point Economic Development Corp. President Loren Hill was one of many people in High Point on Saturday who eagerly turned on the Clemson/Notre Dame game before the 4 p.m. start time to catch Thomas belting out the Star-Spangled Banner – only to discover that television didn’t air it.
The station went with pregame football banter instead.
“It wasn’t televised – rats,” Hill said, adding that his cousin, who was at the game, texted him and wrote of Thomas, “His voice gave me chills.”
Thomas also didn’t have the benefit of a packed crowd that would be at the stadium for the championship game in a non-pandemic year. COVID-19 and the need for social distancing at the game brought down those numbers to about 5,200 fans this year, compared to a jam-packed crowd of 67,000 a year ago.
A native of Detroit – the birthplace of Motown – the Reverend has a very diverse bio. He joined the US Army in 1982 and served as a combat engineer for 25 years – eventually becoming the Senior Military Science Instructor at Wake Forest University.
In the 1980s, he went into the ministry, began preaching and became ordained.
His military awards include the Corps of Engineers Bronze Order of the de Fluery Meda.
Thomas, who is the executive secretary for the Rowan Missionary Baptist Association, is a former president of the Ministers Conference of High Point and Vicinity, as well as a Life Member of the NAACP. He has worked with High Point Jail Ministry and has served on the High Point Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board, as well as the boards of Business High Point and the United Way of Greater High Point.
He and his wife Mary have three daughters and are also grandparents.