Thomas was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. After various arguments with his parents and aunts, he dropped out of high school and lived homeless on the streets of Detroit for two years.
While he was homeless, he met a preacher who inspired him to go back to school and eventually change lives. He also took a job at an Olive Garden on the westside of Detroit. Around this time, Thomas met his wife, De-De Mosley, at the Detroit Center Seventh Day Adventist Church. They then moved to Huntsville, Alabama, attended Oakwood University, and they were married as college students.
Thomas spent twelve years working toward an undergraduate degree at Oakwood and graduated in 2001. While in Huntsville, Thomas preached and set up a program to help underprivileged youth.