Pastor Jake Thornhill, Jr.

From prison
to pulpit

Our Story

I walked an aisle, shook a preacher’s hand and was baptized as a little boy. I knew a lot about Christ but I didn’t know Him. In fact, one evening at the age of 19 I sat up all night arguing with a man about God. He believed in reincarnation and I believed in God but my life had never been changed. At the age of 24 God began to send people into my life, each person sowing divine seed. As God was orchestrating events outwardly, God the Spirit was dealing with me inwardly. Reading through the Sermon on the Mount I was directly confronted with God the Son. I realized for the first time there were two powers in this world, and which one I was following. Through tears and childlike faith I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sin and I received Him by faith. I cried out “Lord if you’ll have me, I’m yours!” I got caught in the devil’s snare but Jesus rescued me. 

In 1983 I was struggling with God’s call and early one morning His word literally came up off the pages. He said “You did not choose Me, but I have chosen you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (Jn. 15:16) God confirmed His call and serving Jesus has been the most exciting and rewarding journey imaginable.


I whole heartedly agree with the apostle Paul “I am the chief of sinners” and by His grace He has allowed me to serve three churches. In 1985-87 I was the pastor of 1st Baptist St. Stephens. The church more than doubled in attendance and experienced more baptisms than the previous 10 years combined. In 1987-94 I served Pleasant Grove Baptist in Fountain Inn. We baptized over 500, leading the association in baptisms every year and in the top 12 in our state every year. We built a worship center that would seat 1000, 25% of our town and filled it the first service. In 1994-2021 I served Hunter Hills Baptist church. God led us to relocate and in July, 2004 we built Life Community Church. We later built two other facilities for our children and youth. Even though there was opposition, God honored us in the midst of the adversity and the church is thriving today as it impacts the community and honors our Lord. Much could be said about the sacrificial giving to be debt free, the multitudes who received Christ, the pastors and missionaries who have been sent out and partnering and planting churches, but that is not necessary. God blessed and we’re grateful.

God has led me to dig wells in Boa Viagem, Ceara and Seis Carnaubus Brazil. Both were areas of very little rainfall and severe drought. When the wells were finished I led teams in the area to canvas the area, dedicate the wells and preach meeting sharing Jesus, the Water of Life. I also have a burden for India and have worked with You Can Free Us rescuing ladies who have been stolen or sold into human trafficking and Hopegivers International training pastors, preaching at their graduations and promoting aid for the orphans.


God has allowed me to serve on the Nominating Committee of the SC Baptist Convention and Associational Director of Evangelism in both S.C. and N.C. He has allowed me to serve on the Executive Committee and the General Board of the N.C. State convention, the Mission Growth Evangelism Committee and the Positions Evaluation Committee for the N.C. State Convention. I’ve also served as a board member of R.H.E.M.A. International. I received my seminary degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and an honorary doctorate from Emmanuel Theological Seminary in Kota India.

I write this with great humility because all that I am or ever hope to be is because of Jesus. The desire of my heart is to continue to honor God and strengthen His church. I desire to “work while it’s day, because night’s coming.”

For the King and His Kingdom,

1 Cor. 15:57-58


Consider giving

While you may not need our services, we ask you to prayerfully consider giving to Just Truth Ministries and partner with us to guide and equip other ministries for God's Kingdom.