Don Thomas, Senior Pastor

Our Senior Pastor is Don Thomas. He has served as our Director of the Christian Campus House since 2005 and served as our Worship Pastor from 2007 until Franklin came on board in 2014. He has been our Senior Pastor since 2011.

Don is homegrown right here in Portales-a graduate of PHS and ENMU, and has been in some sort of ministry position for over 32 years! He has a real passion for helping people to see that God is FUN and REAL! He & Suzanne have one daughter-Landri– and two sons-Levi & Landon– and spend a lot of time chasing them! They love playing & singing music, working on their home and eating meals with their friends. And of course…the Dallas Cowboys!

Don has long believed that the Church is valuable and important, but that Church is not religion-it is about relationship!

Don is available for personal studies, visiting, or a cup of coffee anytime…his cell phone is 575.760.1843. He is in the Church office most days, but you can leave a message on his cell phone anytime.


Franklin Smith, Associate Pastor

Franklin & Marea Smith
(It’s pronounced MARIE) are Portales natives-Marea even grew up at Central Christian! They are both Masters Level Teachers with over 16 years experience in public schools! Both have been certified as “Golden Apple Teachers” (it means they are really good at what they do!) and both serve the Lord with all their heart!

Franklin has served as the Worship Leader at Victory Life Church for many years now, as well as leading the award-winning PHS Choirs! He has a passion for Worship Music having written and recorded multiple songs and CD’s! He has studied, taught & preached God’s Word for all of his life and is a TRUE Follower of Christ! He will bring skill, talent…but above all, a heart for God to our family!

Franklin enjoys music of all kinds, Apple computers & techy-nerdy stuff like that, the High Plains Emmaus Community & is a die-hard Oklahoma Sooners fan! He and Marea (owner and operator of Me And Thee Studios) have 3 wonderful children: Bailey, a college junior, Emma, and Caden. He will primarily focus on Worship & Media Arts Ministries. Even with that, though, Franklin will preach periodically, be involved in Staff Development and will always be available for a cup of coffee to visit!


Caitlin Hays, Youth Coordinator

Caitlin was born and raised in Albuquerque where she completed Nursing School and then attended New Mexico School of Ministry for ministerial training. She and her husband Gowan have two adventurous and curious boys- Grayson and Callum – who are wonderfully exhausting.
The two of them have been attending Central Christian since they moved back to the area in 2015 and have slowly gotten more and more involved in the different ministries Central has to offer. Now they’re hooked, and it’ll take a lot of work to get rid of them. :0)
Caitlin is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with and for the church’s youth, and she’s looking forward to getting to be a small part of God’s plans for the teens of Portales. If you are a youth or a parent of a youth, she would love to get to know you and your kiddo and share her heart.

Jennifer Gonzales, Children’s Pastor

Jennifer is from Jal, NM where she was raised in the church.
She graduated from ENMU in 2004 with a Bachelor’s in University Studies (just a few classes shy of a teaching degree) when her husband, Benito, enlisted in the US Army. They started their military career in Georgia and planted roots in Washington State for four years. They relocated to Albuquerque in the summer of 2008 and Jennifer began working at Presbyterian Health Plan as their Project Coordinator, being involved in connecting and organizing community support and provider outreach.
In 2011, Jennifer left Presbyterian to start a brand new journey as a stay-at-home mom for Elisha. He is an “outgoing, charismatic, and energetic little man who tells it like it is.”
Benito is the new HR Director at ENMU and we are so thankful that they are with us!
Jennifer says that “her silent prayer was to serve in some way and she never imagined that God would move her in this direction. I am so thankful to be here at Central!”