Reverend Earl Y. Thorpe Jr. is the ninth pastor called to Church-in-the-Garden. His vision as pastor is for Church-in-the-Garden to be a social and cultural ecosystem providing its members with the knowledge and resources they need for this life and for the world to come. This vision is based on Jesus’ great commission to meet people at the point of their needs (Luke 4:18) — not simply to join them at that place, but to supply them with what is lacking. Pastor Thorpe believes God’s mandate for all of us is to partake in the advancement of the Kingdom of God on Earth: a kingdom in which necessities are provided for and blessings abound. 

Pastor Thorpe uses traditional and contemporary ministry models along with Christ-centered alternatives to engage the church in spiritual development, social activism, and economic empowerment. Under his leadership, Church-in-the-Garden has completed a major renovation of its sanctuary, bathrooms, and choir room. It has also witnessed increased attendance, widespread spiritual growth, and young people newly committing their lives to Christ. Pastor Thorpe deeply loves his congregation and considers it a blessing to be guiding them as they pursue new paths in discipleship, worship, evangelism, and social concern. 

Prior to being called to Church-in-the-Garden, Pastor Thorpe was a supply pastor with the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York preaching extensively throughout the New York region and beyond. He also was the leader of the Singles Ministry and a co-chair of the Men's Ministry at the Abyssinian Baptist Church. 

Pastor Thorpe was licensed to preach the Word of God and ordained to the Gospel Ministry by his pastor, the Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, and the Abyssinian Baptist Church in association with the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York. 

Born in Albany, New York, to a family of devoted Christian parents and four adoring sisters, Pastor Thorpe was an exceptional high school athlete and garnered numerous athletic and civic honors. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Japanese at New York University. His calling to ministry led him to Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, where he earned a Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies with a focus on the New Testament. He has travelled extensively and lived abroad. 

Pastor Thorpe believes God’s love, grace, mercy, power, and daily blessings through Jesus Christ will continually and effectively change our individual situations, our lives, our communities, the church universal, and the world. He seeks to do as the apostle Paul admonished the Thessalonian church (I Thess. 5:16–18): “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”