Baccalaureate Service Speaker
Reverend Dr. James A. Thornton
Pastor, Salem Missionary Baptist Church
Rev. Dr. James A. Thornton is a graduate of Fordham University. He received his Masters of Divinity Degree from New York Theological Seminary and his Doctorate of Divinity Degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio. Rev. Dr. James A. Thornton assumed the mantle of leadership as the 6th Pastor of the Salem Missionary Baptist Church on May 1, 2006 upon the retirement of his father, Rev. Thomas J. Boyd.
Dr. Thornton is the director and reorganizer of Salem's Afterschool Enrichment Center. He is also an adjunct professor of Ethics at New York Theological Seminary. Dr. Thornton serves as an instructor for the National Baptist Convention Congress of Christian Education. As a graduate of the Lott Carey Convention's Pastoral Excellence Program, he has brought the Christian witness to the mission fields of Guyana, Jamaica and South Africa, and he has partnered with the Philadelphia-based 300 Chosen Ministries, in the preaching and teaching of God's word on foreign shores.
He is married to Angela Thornton and they have one son, Isaiah.
Madam Gloria Bongi Ngema-Zuma
First Lady of the Republic of South Africa
Gloria Bongi Ngema-Zuma was born in Durban,
and became First Lady of the Republic of South Africa when her husband, the
Honorable Jacob Zuma, became the fourth president of the Republic in May 2009.
As First Lady, she actively participates in a
number of programs that support presidential community development objectives,
especially in the area of primary healthcare. Her aim is to engage stakeholders
around issues that are of importance to her, the President and the people of
South Africa, and the world. One such
issue is her work on diabetes.
founded The Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation in 2010 and, since then, has been
working tirelessly to raise awareness of diabetes and other non-communicable
diseases. It is her passion to ensure that no-one suffers unnecessarily or dies
because they are unaware of the fact that they have diabetes or because they
are not receiving appropriate treatment for the condition.
founded the initiative in memory of her mother, who lived with diabetes for
three decades. Her mother’s commitment to leading a normal and active life has
made Madame Ngema determined to ensure that everyone living with the condition
should have the same quality of life.
broader social level, it is also her aim to promote the empowerment of women
and children, rural development and education in her beloved South Africa..
becoming First Lady, Madam Ngema-Zuma held various positions in companies such
as Deloitte, IBM; and Standard Chartered and Merchant Bank (SCMB). Her working
experience spans such areas as marketing management, communications, client
relationship management, business partner management and investment consulting.
a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the Graduate School of
Marketing; an IMM Diploma in Marketing Communications from the Institute of
Marketing Management; a Marketing Degree from ICM of the UK; and Certifications
in Public Relations and Sales
Management from Damelin College.
Ngema-Zuma has received many accolades for her work, and is a member of a
number of organizations and world-wide networks. These include the
International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the Africa Heritage Society and the
Institute of Marketing Management (IMM), to list a few.
President Zuma are the proud parents of one son.