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Peter C. Murray

minister, was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina, to James Samuel and Dessie Veronica Thomas. His father was a Methodist minister, and he followed in his footsteps by becoming an ordained Methodist minister and later a bishop. Thomas Jr. graduated from Claflin College in Orangeburg, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in 1939. He went on to obtain a bachelor of divinity degree from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta in 1943 and a master of divinity degree from Drew University in 1944. Cornell University awarded him a PhD in Sociology in 1953.

While gaining his education, Thomas also became a Methodist minister in South Carolina. He was ordained a deacon in 1942 and was received as an elder in 1944. He married Ruth Naomi Wilson on 7 July 1945 and they had three daughters He served several congregations as a young minister but in ...