Huntington, WV Black History

Thomas Hill

Pastor/Director/A. D. Lewis Center

Thomas Tyrone Hill was a lifelong resident of Huntington, WV. He graduated from Huntington High School and obtained a degree from the WV College of Business. He was drafted and served in the U. S. Army overseas in Vietnam.

Before taking a position at the A. D. Lewis Community Center as its director, Thomas was an extraordinary salesman at Mack and Dave’s, production controller at H. K. Porter, and an engineering clerk for the Army Corps of Engineers.

He was always an advocate for the youth of the community. He volunteered at the A.D. Lewis Center and coached youth basketball and football.  When he became Center Director, he developed and implemented various programs and mentorships, such as a mentoring initiative with local professionals in health care, law enforcement and public service. Those interested in one of these professions were paired with a professional and allowed to shadow them while they performed their duties. When the “Just Say No to Drugs” project became prominent he wrote a song to that effect (Just Say No) and the youth from the center performed it during a ‘Just Say No” pool party.

Thomas’ Summer Basketball League was sanctioned by the NCAA; he instituted a young flier’s program for those interested in learning to fly; he began an honor roll society for those who made the Honor Roll at school; he instituted a tutoring program which assisted with homework and school projects. Thomas obtained a food grant to serve healthy meals to the youth and even adults at the center. He started serving Thanksgiving Dinner at the Center and for those who would not come to the Center to eat or were unable to come out, the staff would take meals to their homes. At Christmas, the youth who wanted to participate would make fruit baskets and distribute them to the elderly in the community. They also took fruit bags to the Intensive Care areas of the local hospitals and distributed them to the families waiting to see their loved ones. He initiated the Back-to-School parties, which provided school supplies for those who might not have the ability to obtain them. He started “Youth with a Mission.” Those who attended the meetings were eligible to go on the field trip for that week. They went to various places each week, such as Kings Island, Cedar Point, the Wave Park, Ice Skating, Horse Back Riding, etc.  Through numerous donations given to the Center, he was able to supply the entire Christmas for some families (clothes, shoes, Christmas presents, Christmas trees, ornaments and Christmas dinner).

Thomas was the pastor of GOD’S House of Prayer and Praise, after leaving The Original Glorious Church of God in Christ where he assisted the pastor, served as an Elder, Minister, Deacon, Youth President, and Sunday School Teacher.

He was the Gospel Music Director at Marshall University’s WMUL for over 28 years, where he established the Gospel Bulletin Board which kept the community informed of events occurring in the Fairfield area.

Thomas was an innovative individual whose heart was for GOD, The Fairfield Community and specifically its youth.

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