Late last month, Rev. Dr. Harry Thomas, Jr. was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the systematic sexual assault of children. Thomas was a pastor of Come Alive Church in Medford. He is also a co-founder of Creation Fest, a Christian music festival that claims to be the biggest Christian music festival in the United States. In February, he pleaded guilty one count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, three counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. The assaults occurred over 16 years and affected at least four minors. Thomas' sentence contains no parole eligibility. The sentence will be served at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center, a corrections facility for convicted sex offenders in the Avenel section of Woodbridge. He previously filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, but that was denied by the presiding judge.
Creation Festival occurs twice annually in different locations. It was founded in 1979 by Thomas and Timothy Landis. Thomas appears to have been involved with Festival until his arrest in December 2017, though he stepped aside as a main organizer some years ago. Until recently, Thomas preached a short message at Creation every year.