Gilbert Thurston started in full-time ministry in 2000. Prior to that he owned two successful businesses. His first pastoral assignment was at New Life Christian Ministries in Maryland. There he was the Associate Pastor where he oversaw each of the churches 23 ministries in addition to speaking at about 20% of the weekend services.
Next, he worked for Rick Warren and Purpose Driven Ministries. Gilbert traveled all over North America for 3 years training over 10,000 churches and 30,000 church leaders in how to make a bigger difference in their local community.
In the fall of 2006, Gilbert began consulting for the Chambersburg First Church of God in Chambersburg, PA. In January of 2007, he accepted the role of Associate Pastor at the church with his primary responsibilities being the lead and teaching pastor for the church’s contemporary services. Under Gilbert’s leadership, attendance went from an average of 52 per Sunday to a peak of 550. The majority of the growth came from hundreds of people praying for the first time to ask Jesus for His forgiveness and leadership in their lives.
In late 2009, Gilbert felt a call to move to Harrisburg, PA to start a brand new church. On October 17, 2010, Exponential Church officially launched and Gilbert is as excited today as he was then about helping people in Harrisburg and beyond take life-changing next steps in their journey towards God, no matter what that next step might look like.
Gilbert and his wife Lisa have been married for over 20 years and love to travel. They have 5 fish named Marvin, Mr. Blue, The Silver Bullet, Happy and Domino.