The preaching ministry of Bishop E.M. Thorpe spanned over 50 years. He was a boy preacher and the son of the late Elder James and Mother Thorpe. Bishop Thorpe was saved in 1949 at a very young age. Two years after his new birth in Christ, young Thorpe received the call from the Lord to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It was year 1967 when Reverend Thorpe came to a youth convention at the Homewood Church of God. Around that time, Deacon Robert Wade had inquired about this young evangelist because the Northside Church of God was in need of leadership. Reverend Thorpe came to the Northside Church and conducted a week revival. It was then that chairmen, Deacon Robert Wade asked him if he would relocate to Pittsburgh and accept the pastorate of Northside Church of God.
Thus, 1968 marked the beginning of the pastoral ministry of Reverend Eugene Thorpe in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He, along with his loving wife Lola, accepted the charge along with their six young children. The couple commuted to Pittsburgh from Philadelphia for several months.
Under the leadership of Reverend Thorpe, the Northside Church of God experienced tremendous growth. Many souls were saved and added to the kingdom of God. An enthusiastic spirit of worship filled the air because of his anointing and evangelism. Not long after his arrival, Reverend Thorpe was promoted to the Bishop.
Bishop E.M. Thorpe had been a significant part of the history of the Northside of Pittsburgh. He reached out to the community in which God had placed him, and his acts of dedication to servicing all of God's people spoke loudly throughout all Northside, a tradition that is still carried on to this day.
Over his forty plus years of pastoring, Bishop Thorpe used his business, negotiation and fundraising skills in the acquisition of four (4) properties. He raised more than $1 million dollars for properties acquired and the renovations needed on them for public safety, which would now have property values of more than $3 million dollars. He provided jobs for the community, assisted families transitioning from public housing to the purchasing of homes.
His one unshakable belief, which he never compromised, was that people would never have to pay a fee for any activity, event or service in the house of worship that he presided over. Yet, he maintained other creative and God-given ways to raise funds to grow ministry, grow people, and grow the community.
Because of his love for people, Bishop Thorpe was the first pastor in the city to allow an unknown Aids victim, who's grieving family could not find pastoral support, to have their loved ones funeral in the church while others turned the family away due to the controversy.
He introduced and showcased national speakers, recording artist and community advocates to the community of faith and all others. As it is called now, the history of the Northside Institutional Church of God in Christ is guaranteed to continue because of the spirit of Love that God has invested in Bishop E.M. and Pastor Lola Thorpe.
Bishop Thorpe endured more than 40 years of unselfish service, over 40 years of encouraging God's people, many trials and tribulations, births, deaths, marriages, celebrations and hardships. Through it all, he was steadfast in perfecting the Saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; such a gift to be treasured and honored.
On Saturday August 7, 2010, Bishop E.M. Thorpe was called home to be with the Lord. His legacy continues at the Northside Church of God in Christ.
Founder: Bishop E. M. Thorpe
Pastor: Dr. Lola M. Thorpe
Asst. Pastor: Evangelist Helen Pugh