Architect Doug Thornton, who is the principal partner at AERC, is a man of faith who acknowledges God as the chief architect of the universe.

Architect Doug Thornton said when he reads the Creation story in the Book of Genesis the entire passage reads like a blueprint for the creative process employed by draftsmen, artists and architects alike.

"You have light, energy and mass, then color and even granularity of detail," Thornton said. "I always see God as the Master Architect and learn more about how He did it by looking around at his Creation. It's almost an exact blueprint of how to create life. The whole creative process is outlined in the seven days of Creation when God created the universe and all that was in it. I'm always fascinated when I read through the Creation story. As an architect I can appreciate the design in it all."

Thornton and his wife Michelle are the parents of three children, including eldest son Nathan, 28, who lives in Oregon, daughter Nicole, 19, a student at Mississippi State University, who wishes to illustrate children's books, and youngest sibling Nic, 18, a champion swimmer.

The family's faith was tested recently when wife and mother Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"Michelle has undergone radiation treatment for breast cancer and her faith has maintained her through all of that," Thornton said. "She knows that she is in God's hands."

The family worships at Longview Point Baptist Church where Doug Thornton sings in the choir.

"I think faith is a stabilizing factor in my life," said Thornton. "It's like a lighthouse in a storm. You think about hurricanes and those same type of forces are also visible in the spiritual realm. There is a lot that we don't see. Christ is the rock and the lighthouse that we can find refuge in. His grace and love is there for us. It's the biggest assurance that I have. To be worthy of God's love and attention when I am just some little speck of humanity amazes me. He is big enough to love everybody the same. I do think he gives us all unique opportunities to expand His kingdom. He allows us to participate in His work. He loves His creation."

Thornton has also been instrumental in working to strengthen ties between people of the Christian and Jewish faith traditions.

Thornton is the lead architect for the Unknown Child Exhibit, which has been on tour around the Mid-South, including the DeSoto County Museum. The exhibit, which memorializes the million-plus children murdered in the Holocaust along with five million adults, could be permanently housed in a memorial that Thornton has also designed.

Thornton said his favorite Bible passage is Colossians 3:23.

"Whatever you do, do it unto the Lord, not unto men."

"It implies that you should do your best for God and not for mankind. My mother taught me that."

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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