Episode 97: A Surprising Journey of Serving, From NYC to the Appalachian Mountains with Chef Jes Thomas

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“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121: 1 NIV

While most of have to envision a serene mountainous view as we meditate upon this verse from scripture, Chef and Cooking Instructor, Jes Thomas, experiences it everyday living along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

Born in Queens, New York Jes’ surprising journey of serving began when she attended Boston University to study Mass Communication and Advertising. During this season of completing her undergrad Jes met Jesus in a personal way that was far different from her upbringing in church. For the first time, the words she found in the Bible seemed relevant and by reading the Word of God Jes knew she wanted to spend her life sharing the excitement of following Jesus and listening to the Holy Spirit.

Upon graduating Jes attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago to complete her master’s degree. There she partnered with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship developed a passion for discipling others, especially college students, and also met her husband Dr. Geoge Thomas, MD.

After completing his residency program in California, God lead Geoge and Jes to Jellico, Tennessee. Though the Thomas’ planned to live in the a small rural community near the Appalachian Mountain Range for only two years God pressed on their hearts to stay, Jeremiah 29:4-7 style.

Little did Jes know that God would not only her love for His Word, but also her gifts of preparing food and hospitality to serve others!

It has been so fun to teach through my segments on WBIR – Knoxville’s NBC affiliate, the University of Tennessee’s Community Cooking classes, Instagram, in-home classes and in event spaces.  I have also had a blast working behind the scenes on Food Network’s CHOPPED!

Recently, Jes was featured on New York Times Bestselling Author, Annie F. Down’s, Annie’s Fun List: New and IMPROVED Chai Day Friday.

Jes also serves at the National Director of Student Programming at Christian Community Health Fellowship, a community of Christian healthcare professionals who are committed to living out the gospel through healthcare among the poor. CCHF’s 2021 Student Conference and Residency Fair is happening soon, July 16-18! Jes is available to help you with any questions you might have about registering. If you are interested in attending please connect with CCHF for more information, click here.

From bright city lights to quiet southern nights, with an oven mitt in one hand and ministry on her heart Jes is still sharing her exciting and surprising journey of following Jesus!

Links for this episode…

Jes Thomas



John Perkins

Doc Hollywood


Maneet Chauhan

How to Podcast with Kohlie Browning 

Music, “We’ll Be Alright” by Gabrielle Grace

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