Rev. Donnie Thurman Jr., Assistant Pastor and Youth Pastor
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Donnie Thurman, Jr. is a 32 year old native of Shelby, NC.  Donnie is married to Rachin Thurman who is a chemist at PPG Industries. He attended Crest High School and Gardner-Webb University.
At Gardner-Webb, Donnie majored in Sociology and Psychology. He also played football there, and he was a four-year letterman. Donnie has a passion for athletics, and what they do to help children in life.
Donnie is a professional motivational speaker. He does workshops and trainings for organizations across the entire country. Since 2004, he has spoken to over 850,000 youth nationwide for many different school, churches, and organizations.
Donnie serves as the Youth Pastor at Palmer Grove Baptist Church and enjoys ministry very much. He was ordained as a minister in 2012. Donnie is also very active in singing and is the Praise and Worship leader at his church. He became Assistant Pastor on January 1017.
Donnie works as the Mentoring Services Coordinator from Communities In Schools of Cleveland County. He is passionate about working with young people, and he has been working with the organization for 13 years. Since his time there he has worked in every level of education, and has grown fond of building partnerships with the community. Donnie’s philosophy is that if it takes a village to raise children, it is time for the village to step up. 
Donnie became the youngest person in Cleveland County history to be elected to the Cleveland County School Board in 2013, and is one of the youngest elected officials in the state. Since he has been on the board, he has been involved in many facets of leadership. Serving on several boards in the community and dedicating time to volunteerism is part of Donnie's belief in giving back. He wants to empower the young adults to stand up and make a difference in the community! He is driven by his passion to serve, and is willing to champion the cause of education for the rest of his lifetime.