Rev. Oliver "Buzz" Thomas

Oliver Thomas is a Baptist minister, author, educator, attorney and community leader. He has served as an attorney for the nation's largest Evangelical group, The Southern Baptist Convention, and has written books for the ACLU. He has lectured at Harvard as well as at Pat Robertson's Regent University and has served on the pastoral staff of churches in Tennessee and Louisiana. During his tenure in the nation's capital, Mr. Thomas taught church-state law at Georgetown University.

Mr. Thomas has practiced at every level of state and federal court including the United States Supreme Court. His clients have included the National Council of Churches, Children's Defense Fund and First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. In addition, he has co-authored numerous national guidelines used in public schools on such controversial issues as religious holidays, equal access and teaching about religion. He also co-authored Finding Common Ground, the First Amendment guide for schools endorsed by United States Department of Education. Mr. Thomas has served as president of his local board of education and currently serves as Executive Director of the Niswonger Foundation, an education foundation designed to improve the quality of life in Southern Appalachia. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Tennessee, the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the University of Virginia College of Law.