CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The pastor of a church is supposed to serve as a role model and be there for members during hard times, but it's more than that with this week's Hometown Hero.
"An awesome pastor, I mean not only does he help you here at the church, but he's just helped his members outside of church," said Renee Garland. She is talking about Pastor Bobby Thomas Sr.
What makes him a Hometown Hero? His willingness to help any of his members at the drop of a hat.
"When my parents, when my mother died in 2007, he was at the hospital him and his wife Jessica Thomas. They were at the hospital, they were there before all family showed up. When my dad passed in 2016, in the middle of the night, he was there," Garland said.
But he isn't only there on the dark days.
"He would go to the kids basketball games, he would come over to the house of fellowship and have dinner with you," Garland said.
He also teaches classes several nights a week, which is where he was presented with his deserving certificate. Pastor Thomas Sr. says church to him is family, no matter what.
"Jesus said I would never leave you nor foresake you. And this is what I told my children when they were young, and I say the same thing to my church, that I will never leave you," he said.
He's also working with the Department of Natural Resources to get more inner city youth involved in outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, teaching kids how to use guns safely.
"As they grow up and go out into the street, because they are going to learn the guns one way or another. It would be better if they learned one way or another, it would be better if they learned from responsible people," Pastor Thomas Sr. said.
Garland says he serves as a role model for everyone inside and out of the church,
"No matter where you see him, he smiles all the time. He says if you hang around me long enough, you will know that I really love you. And he really loves you no matter what and he always gives people a chance," Garland said.