Who is Art Thomas?
I'm just an ordinary guy who loves Jesus and loves people.
I believe that whatever gifts the Holy Spirit works through you are just as valuable as whatever gifts the Holy Spirit works through me. My ministry travels have given me some unique experiences around the world, but I believe the only ones worth sharing are those that benefit you, not those that merely impress you.
I want you to walk in the fullness of everything our Father intends for your life, and if I can play a small role in that, I consider it an honor.
I'd like to share a few highlights of my life with you so that perhaps you can get to know me better. I believe real, meaningful, human connections are important. Trust matters. If you're a pastor, I want you to know who you're working with. But even if you're not, I want you to know that I'm a regular person like you so that you can see yourself doing the same things I do.
Art Thomas is a missionary-evangelist who travels the world to train and equip believers for Spirit-filled ministry. He is the president of Wildfire Ministries International—a global ministry that seeks to spread the gospel to difficult regions, train pastors, plant churches, build orphanages, and more. He has preached in over 20 countries.
Art, his wife Robin, and their boys, Josiah and Jeremiah, live in Metro Detroit, Michigan, where he serves as the founding pastor at Roots Church.
My wife Robin is my favorite person on the planet Earth. She loves gardening, baking, and teaching horseback riding lessons at her parents' day camp. She's compassionate, great with kids, and a fantastic partner in ministry.
My oldest son, Josiah, was born five-and-a-half weeks early in January of 2011. He's creative, a deep thinker, and loves the Lord. Joey wants to be a programmer when he grow up, but for now he enjoys reading books, playing video games, and making funny videos.
Jeremiah was also born five-and-a-half weeks early in August of 2012, eighteen months after his brother. He's smart, fun, sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and has a sense of humor beyond his years. JJ loves wrestling, climbing, and just about anything challenging and fun.
My Church History
I was born and raised in Assemblies of God churches. Until I was sixteen, my family and I attended Canton Calvary AG in Canton, Michigan. It was during this time that I came to know Jesus and was baptized in both water and the Holy Spirit.
After that my parents and I moved to Northville Christian Assembly in Northville, Michigan. There I played piano and led worship and eventually served as a youth leader.
After a couple years, I went with one of the pastors on staff, Dan Vander Velde, to plant Fowlerville Freedom Center, AG, in the rural community of Fowlerville, Michigan. While leading the worship team and youth ministry, my four years there proved to be the most intensively transformational years of my life. God did deep works of healng in my heart while teaching me to love and be loved.
When Robin and I were engaged in July 2008, I felt the Lord was leading me back to Northville Christian Assembly (where she still attended). I was soon hired to a staff position there, serving as an Assistant Pastor of Student Ministries. It was during this time that I studied toward and eventually earned credentials with the Assemblies of God (Certified level in 2009 and Licensed in 2016).
In April 2011, the Lord launched me into full-time traveling ministry. I continued to lead the young adult group at Northville Christian for a few years after that and eventually passed it off to someone else at the church.
In September 2012, I attended the Reinhard Bonnke School of Evangelism — a four-day training for 100 evangelists from around the world, during which Evangelists Reinhard Bonnke, Daniel Kolenda, Todd White, and others poured out wisdom, insights, and practical advice. The relationships built during this time have been amazing, and the information learned has produced much fruit for the Kingdom.
Around that same time, I founded Wildfire Ministries International — a multifaceted nonprofit organization designed to plant churches, train pastors, build orphanages, and spread the Kingdom of God like wildfire in partnership with indigenous Christians around the world. Our first partnership in Uganda has trained well over 1,000 pastors from various denominations, directly planted over 12 rural churches, and constructed an orphanage and primary school where around 500 needy children are being educated and over 50 orphans have a home.
Even as I traveled internationally, I held the conviction that no matter my large-scale role in equipping the church (Ephesians 4:11-13), it would never exempt me from making disciples locally. With my pastor's encouragement, Robin and I grew a house church in our home, leading many to Jesus, baptizing people in our bathtub, and building deep, meaningful relationships where God could work on all our hearts.
In time, the house church multiplied into a handful of groups; and in August 2019, we officially organized as Roots Church, AG. Given how we started, we decided to continue operating our church as a network of house churches, which served us well during the pandemic of 2020 (during which time our numbers tripled). Rather than the typical model of expecting everyone in a big meeting and inviting them to small groups, we expect everyone in the small groups and invite them to the big meeting.
God continues to pour out His Spirit in our meetings. Every time we gather together, people share testimonies about ministering healing and leading people to Jesus.
We planted Roots Church with a team-based leadership model, allowing me to continue traveling the world and obeying God's call on my life. So while I'm the "Senior Pastor" on paper, I really co-pastor and share a lot of responsibility with others on our amazing, Kingdom-minded team.
Nevertheless, my local responsibilities do limit the time I have available to travel. Just as Jesus related differently to the multitudes, the seventy, the twelve, and His closest inner-circle of Peter, James, and John, I choose to invest most of my time and attention to those who are closest to me relationally. Many reach out to me for mentorship and ministry, but I'm not able to pastor the whole world. I occasionally interact with others as the Spirit leads, but I feel a responsibility from the Lord for the people in my local church.
Robin and I met as teenagers in the youth group at Northville Christian Assembly. I knew I wanted to marry her from the moment I met her, but having never dated anyone before, I had no idea how to properly ask her out on a date. I spent five months trying to figure it out, and I thank God for her patience!
Our relationship began in January 2002 and quickly blossomed. Her parents wanted her to finish college before getting married (and then she picked a double major!), so we dated for seven years.
On July 4, 2008, I asked Robin to marry me; and on June 7, 2009, we said our vows in the same church where we met (and where I was now serving as a pastor on staff).
Robin is a tremendous asset to my ministry. She has a heart of compassion and wisdom beyond her years. Through Robin’s prayers, God has supernaturally healed people of degenerative eye diseases, torn muscles, and much more in the name of Jesus.
For several years (before we had our boys), Robin was an American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter in the State of Michigan and regularly interpreted church services and events. She is gifted in evangelism as well and loves having conversations with the Deaf Community about their spiritual lives. Robin earned her BA degree from Madonna University, one of the most prestigious schools in the nation for ASL interpreting.
Robin exhibits a level of humility that regularly challenges me, and I’m so grateful to the Lord that she is my wife. Her prophetic dreams, insights from Scripture, and love for people who are hurting have all played key roles in the shape and direction of our ministry. This ministry and my service to the Kingdom wouldn’t be possible without her Spirit-filled support.
Today, I homeschool our boys while Robin helps out at her family's business (cooking lunches at their nursery school during the school year and teaching horseback riding lessons at the summer day camp).
We have two house churches that meet in our home, and I regularly teach at our church's School of Ministry on Thursday nights.
Meanwhile, I continue to travel the world to train and equip Christians everywhere for Full-Gospel ministry.
God has given our family a special grace for this multifaceted ministry to which He has called us, and we truly love serving the Body of Christ, both locally and abroad.