Major Ian Thomas
Walter Ian Thomas (13 September 1914 - 1 August 2007) was born in London, England, and had received Christ as his Lord and Savior by age 12. Fervently wanting to be an evangelist for God, he began outreaches and ministries that kept him so busy that by age 19 he had become exhausted spiritually, emotionally, and physically. He writes “one night in November, that year, just at midnight, I got down on my knees before God, and I just wept in sheer despair. I said, 'With all my heart I have wanted to serve Thee. I have tried to my uttermost and I am a hopeless failure.' That night things happened. The Lord seemed to make plain to me that night, through my tears of bitterness: 'You see, for seven years, with utmost sincerity, you have been trying to live for Me, on My behalf, the life that I have been waiting for seven years to live through you.'" Thomas later reflected: "I got up the next morning to an entirely different Christian life, but I want to emphasize this: I had not received one iota more than I had already had for seven years!" Thomas was a major in the British Army at the beginning of World War II, participated in the evacuation at Dunkirk, and was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order. In September of 1946
Thomas and his wife bought an estate home, Capernwray Hall, in Lancashire, England and began a Bible college for 190 students. This college would eventually grow into the Torchbearers International ministry, with 25 Bible schools around the world. He authored four books on the Christian Life, and his widow, Joan Thomas, lives in their home in Estes Park, Colorado.