The Thornton Family Crest is Based on Psalms 127 & 128 and was drawn by Joseph R. Thornton.
Vital Connections is the publishing arm of Bro. Michael R. Thornton.
Bro. Michael was saved in 1964 and has been involved in ministry since 1972 as a music director, youth director, writer, editor, counselor, teacher and pastor. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1980 and has served as pastor of churches in Florida, Texas and Mississippi. He has been counseling and teaching youth and their families since 1994 along with his itinerant preaching ministry. His passion is teaching and expository preaching. He is married to Erma Ruth McDonald Thornton since 1978 and they have been blessed with five children, Joseph, Rachel (and Jason) May, Sarah (and Caleb) Matheny, Nathan and Elizabeth and six precious grandchildren: Logan, Jacob, Brianna, Katie, MacKenzie and Natalie.
Michael R. Thornton serves as a Local Missionary through the West Black Creek Landmark Missionary Baptist Church of Sumrall, Mississippi. Elder Brent King is the Pastor.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible, 1974, from Southeastern Baptist College, Laurel, MS
A Master of Religious Education, 1976, from BMA Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, TX
and is an alumnus of the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, now the Institute in Basic Life Principles, 1982, and the Advanced Training Institute International, 1994, both of Oak Brook, IL. He has continued his education by attending and applying seminars like, Walk Thru the Bible, Old and New Testaments; The Church Growth Institute of Dr. Elmer Towns; An educational media class at the University of Southern Mississippi; among others.
The Michael Ray Thornton Family Crest is based on scripture and has great meaning to me. At the base of the crest is the Bible, the Word of God. Issuing out of the Bible is my personal life verse, "O magnify the LORD with me," Psalm 34:3. The crest is "hedged about" with thorn bushes representing the protection of our loving God with the only entrance to be made through the Cross of Christ and the Good Shepherd. The elements of the shield are the "T" that represents the name Thornton and our commitment to "Truth". The fruitful vine represents my wife Erma, the Olive tree represents the children as olive plants, bearing fruit even in old age and the oil of gladness which comes from the Spirit of God. The Arrows represent our children as arrows in the hand of a mighty man, sent forth to bear the name of Christ.
A friend suggested that I put in a note about my health. They stated that many people might like to know that I am a Cancer Survivor. For this blessing I am truly grateful. I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in May of 2012. I underwent treatments at the Cancer Center in Hattiesburg and then at the University of Alabama/Birmingham. I have been in remission since October 2012. The doctors state that my condition will return at some point but we will leave that with the LORD. There was a great outpouring of prayers, gifts and concern for me and my family from our Church family, friends, other churches and even strangers. God is good to us beyond measure. We are working until He calls us to glory.