Obituary: James (J.) Paul Thompson

CHANDLER, AZ (March 16, 2018) – J. Paul Thompson, pastor of Hope Covenant Church in Chandler, Arizona, died Wednesday, March 14, of cancer. He was 52.

Paul was born April 5, 1965, in Toronto, Ontario. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College, and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also attended the Institute for Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem.

He married Mary Beth Zimmer on August 19, 1988. She survives.

Paul was serving Hope Covenant Church in Chandler at the time of his death. He previously served Northwest Covenant Church in Mt. Prospect, Illinois; Cranford Alliance Church in Cranford, New Jersey; and Princeton Alliance Church in Princeton, New Jersey.

“Paul Thompson became a fast friend when he landed in Arizona and was always so encouraging, had an ever-present bright smile on his face, and loved getting to know his new church family, conference and the golf courses of the Sonoran Desert,” said Pat Stark, associate superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference.  “We will miss him dearly.”

In addition to Mary, Paul is survived by two daughters, Katherine Thompson and Tori Lio; and a son, J. Bradley Thompson, and his mother, Anne Thompson.

Services will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Hope Covenant Church. Condolences can be sent to Mary Thompson at 2071 East Azalea Drive, Chandler AZ 85286. Memorials to Hope Covenant Church, 1770 S. Dobson Road, Chandler, AZ 85286


A memorial service will be conducted at Northwest Covenant Church, but no date has been set.



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  1. Reflecting on your ministry, as today marks 3 years since you left this world, Brother Paul.
    You are missed. I am grateful to have known you, even though our friendship only had a year and a half on this side of glory.
    Annette Lane
    Gilbert AZ

  2. Tomorrow is Paul’s birthday, he’ll be celebrating with his heavenly father and his dad, Win! I’ve known Paul since we were in high school in Toronto. He has been a faithful friend for the last 37 years. When I had to fly in to new jersey from West Africa he drove to the airport and picked me up and he and Mary and their children kept me in their home until I could get a flight to Toronto. He has always been encouraging, faithful and true. Our loss is heaven’s gain. He is missed.

  3. Paul was a true gift from God! And he used his knowledge and strengths to touch people and expand the Kingdom in a powerful way.

  4. Paul Thompson was truly a pastor to pastors. In my years working with him at Princeton Covenant Children’s home to reconnecting recently after moving back to the Central Conference. Paul has always been more interested in what is going on with you than trumpeting his own agenda or health history. He will bed missed dearly.

  5. I knew Paul when he first came into the Covenant as a youth pastor. Great man of God. Loved his family, the church and was an amazing golfer. I’m truly sad, but thanks be to God he is in heaven this very moment with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Blessings and peace.

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