Pastor Portraits: Rev. Thomas Mayville

Pastor Portraits

Rev. Thomas Mayville

A long time ago, in Detroit, Michigan, a Scot-Irish girl named Margaret Myrn McBride, and an English- French Canadian guy named Thomas M. Mayville got married and in 1956 gave birth to yours truly in Redford Township (A suburb of Detroit). When I was 3, my dad hitchhiked from there to Los Angeles with $9 in his pocket in search of work to support our family including my older sister and younger brother. We came to California by train a little while later, ending up in North Hollywood where our family grew to three boys and three girls. My earliest recollections of church were seeing my Mom and Dad baptized at Calvary Baptist in that town, and having the pastor teach me about faith by asking me to turn my back to him and fall backward, trusting him to catch me. When I was about 12 we became Bible Presbyterians via an invitation to come to church where Pastor Wes Brice was ministering in our town. About a year later my parents divorced and my sisters went to live with my mom in Garden Grove, while we three boys continued to live and worship in N. Hollywood. Pastor Brice (who now ministers in the RCUS in NW Arkansas) became a second father to me and was my pastor for 25 years. Ginger became my spiritual Mom. When I was about 18 my dad left the church, too, and the congregation became an independent church named Westminster Bible Church (Presbyterian), because the BPC was not reformed enough. It was in my senior year of high school that our Lord regenerated me.
I attended Bible College in North Hollywood, and many years later used those credits toward earning a Bachelor of Theological Studies degree from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. During those college years I met and married my wonderful and beautiful wife Carolyn and we had two beautiful daughters, Michelle and Sarah. I apprenticed as an auto mechanic for a couple of years, and then became a carpenter in 1979. At some point in the mid-70s, our congregation became Puritans via our fellowship with Puritan Evangelical Church of America (PECA) near San Diego. We became close friends with Pastor Gil Baloy of the San Diego RCUS and his two elders in those years. But the North Hollywood leadership, including myself, having come to know and love the Westminster Standards through Pastor Brice, wanted to form a Presbytery with PECA. This led to a providential falling out which left our congregation hungering for Reformed fellowship and a truly reformed denomination.
In 1984, Carolyn and I moved to the edge of LA County near Frazier Park where within a year we heard a minister named Jim West preaching on the radio from Shafter. Carolyn and I went to meet him there in behalf of Westminster Bible Church, North Hollywood. In 1986, my dear son Joshua was born and I became an elder at Westminster. We found the biblical foundations and order we had been longing for when we embraced the Heidelberg Catechism, Directory of Worship, and Constitution, and soon our congregation joined the RCUS.
Eventually the officers of the congregation — Pastor Brice, the elders and the deacon — moved to Lancaster as Grace Reformed Church. Rev. Richard Stetler (now serving in Lancaster) joined us there and became an elder. After working 16 years in construction, including a couple years of trying to discern the Lord’s calling for me, I headed for seminary in Dyer, Indiana, with my faithful wife and three children aged 14, 12, and 9, in tow. After three years at MARS, I earned my M. Div. After graduation and licensure, my first call was to Grace Reformed in Willows, CA, where I was ordained. I served there from 1998 to 2007. In 2007 I accepted a call to serve as Missionary and Bible College Professor in Uganda, Africa, until the end of 2009. In the spring of 2010, I accepted a call to Trinity Reformed in Modesto, CA, where I served until October 2013.
I am happy to have this opportunity to express my gratitude for the RCUS. I love the RCUS: her faithfulness to Scripture, her creeds, her zeal for orthodoxy, her people, her officers, and her care for me and mine. God bless the RCUS for generations to come!


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