A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lola M. Thorpe arrived in Pittsburgh, PA to serve with her husband, the late Bishop Eugene M. Thorpe, Sr. in 1968. When moved by God to found and pastor a new church in March 1973, his wife, Evangelist Thorpe, who served as co-pastor, supported Bishop Thorpe. Upon retiring from the Pittsburgh Board of Education, she devoted her life to full-time ministry. Having served more than 40 loyal years as co-pastor, Evangelist Thorpe worked dutifully, yet skillfully to promote her husband, the ministry of the church and "the works" that were assigned to her hands. These works include the: Interdenominational Prayer Luncheon, "So You're the Pastor's Wife seminar; "We Do" married women's group; the Women Out Working (W.O.W.) Conference; and "The Beginning of Something Great" bible study in Philadelphia, PA. She has hosted a weekly television program, "Women in Ministry" from PClV-21 in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as her own radio show entitled, "Moments of Inspiration" for more than 10 years. Additionally, she is the author of the moving story "When God Gave My Daughter Back/" which was published in the March '97 edition of Purpose Magazine giving a true account of the demonstration of her faith in God.
Dr. Thorpe's most passionate about The Lola M. Thorpe Scholarship and the class she taught for more than 8 years: "Noble Women," with a curriculum for hurting, transitioning, and growing women. The Saturday morning sessions were open to anyone. She believes strongly in "crossing the lines of difference in order for change to take place."
The journey to pastorate came full circle when Bishop Thorpe, after suffering a series of strokes in 2006, released a prosperous Northside Institutional Church Of God In Christ to his faithful wife, Co-Pastor Lola Thorpe. Two years later, on Saturday, November 1, 2008, "Pastor Lola," as she is affectionately called, received her Doctorate of Divinity from the North Carolina College of Theology.
As of Saturday, June 18, 2011, under the leadership of Dr. Lola M. Thorpe, Northside Institutional Church of God In Christ worships in their new location, a former Greek Orthodox Church, on the NorthSide, Pittsburgh, PA. The congregation marched in as Pastor Lola quoted from Isaiah 61:3 NKlV: "To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified."
Rightfully, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review featured Dr. Lola Thorpe and a few of the other 50 female power players who received the 2011 Women of Excellence Award in August. She was recognized at the Baptist Minister's Conference of Pittsburgh (Celebrating the Lord's Handmaids in Pastoral Ministry) in April, 2012 and received The Pittsburgh Circle of Courage Award in September, 2012.
Pastor Lola fervently loves God and His people. Thousands have been touched by her life as well as her ministry throughout this country and other parts of the world. She is a great inspiration to all who has the privilege to encounter her grace, her hospitality and her warmth. Since the early days as the emcee of the live radio broadcasts, this great woman of faith, still boastfully proclaims, "IF GOD CANNOT DO IT, THEN IT CANNOT BE DONE!"
Dr. Thorpe is the eldest of fourteen children, the mother of six adult children, grandmother of eighteen and great-grandmother of six. All of her children are saved and serve in ministry. Her children do "rise and call her blessed."