THE FAMILY STORY
Pastor Alvin T. Jones was born on June 19, 1928, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to Sam and Esma Jones. It wasn't long after his birth-at just nine-month-old, in fact the Jones family moved to Cleveland, Ohio as part of the Great Migration. After moving to Cleveland, the Jones family grew by three-sister Lorna and brothers Elihu and Richard. Pastor Jones went on to attend Cleveland Public Schools, including Central High School, where he met the love of his life: Eileen. Pastor and Sister Jones were married on July 23, 1949, in his mother's home sand officiated by his mentor and dear friend, the Rev. Eugene W. Ward, Sr. From this union, two sons were born, Ronald and Michael. Pastor and Sister Jones also asked God for two daughters, so He blessed them with two daughters-Alissa (through adoption) and JaNette (through ordainment). Pastor and Sister Jones unconditionally loved all four of their children.
Pastor Jones is preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Esma, and his brothers, Elihu and Richard. He is also preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Eileen (Nolan) Jones.
THE STORY OF LEGACY
To his children, Pastor Jones was known simply as "Dad" or "Daddy" -and as "Grampy" by his grandchildren. As the natural family patriarch, Dad set the example of community service and level of investment needed within our youth and young adults. But Dad also knew how to have fun--cracking jokes, laughing heartily, and easily making others laugh, too (a trait that has been passed down to his son, Michael, and grandson, Jamil). Pastor Jones also loved nice cars, nice suits, nice shoes and nice hats-undoubtedly, he was always driving in a clean car, dressed in a dapper suit, and wearing a fashionable hat. He also loved homecooked soul food (and also never left even the smallest piece of meat on a chicken wing). On occasion, he would even try to sing a tune here and there, but what Pastor Jones loved most of all, and all of the time, was the Lord.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his four children: Ronald (Kimberly) Jones of Beverly, Mass., Michael (Lydia) Jones of South Euclid, Alissa Jones of Chowchilla Cali., and JaNette (Ann) Barnett of Shaker Heights. Pastor Jones also leaves behind 10 grandchildren, including one granddaughter, Erin (Sebastian) Harmon, and nine grandsons, Derrick Jones, Randy Jones, Jeff Jones, Jamil (Staci) Jones, Jason Jones, David Jones, Caleb Barnett, Cameron Jones, and Emory Barnett; 12 great-grandchildren, Ronald Ware, Jalin Jones, Jaden Jones, Jacob Jones, Justin Jones, Myah Staples, Skylar Jones, Joshua Jones, Zachariah Staples, Jayson Lee, Paige Jones, and Jayce Jones; four great-great grandchildren, Josiah Jones, Jada Jones, Kasyn Ware and Gabriella Ware; sister, Lorna Roach Bagchi of Las Vegas, NV; sister-in-law, Sherron Martin of East Cleveland; special daughter in ministry, India Pierce (Pete) Lee; special son in ministry, Pastor Frederick Knuckles; caregiver, Doris Matthews; and, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and loved ones. Pastor Jones loved each person very differently-but always unconditionally. As we cherish his memory, we also recite one of his favorite lines of Scripture: "I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. " Psalms 121:1-2 NIV.
THE CHURCH STORY
When the Jones family first came to Cleveland in 1929, they worshiped at Triedstone Baptist Church, where Pastor Jones' grandparents attended. Soon after, the family transferred their membership to Mt. Sinai Baptist Church to join other members of their family-and continued to worship there throughout this youth and young adulthood.
A few years after marriage, Pastor Jones began his spiritual studies at Cleveland Bible School (1952), where he was found "worthy of acceptance," and licensed to preach the Gospel. In 1954, Pastor and Sister Jones joined Temple Baptist Church, a newly organized church. Several years later, in 1958, Pastor Jones was ordained at Temple and became Assistant Pastor to the late Rev. Eugene W. Ward, Sr.
In 1962, Pastor Jones was called to be the Pastor of Upper Valley Baptist Church, where he maintained a special focus on youth. Subsequently, just one year later in 1963, by the request of the late Pastor Leroy Kelly-and with the unanimous consent of the Mount Olive Baptist Church Congregation-Pastor Jones was called to be Pastor and Director of the Youth Church. Pastor Jones served in this role for more than a decade, winning the hearts and minds of hundreds of young people. There are many adults today who still cannot say enough about how Pastor Jones influenced and positively shaped their lives.
In 1974, Pastor and Sister Jones become affiliated with Holy Trinity Baptist Church, where Pastor Jones continued his investment in youth as an Associate Minister. Pastor Jones was not only in charge of youth activities, but also served as instructor of new members classes, and as director of revival, devotions, and other special activities of the church.
Then, four years later, on September 10, 1978, Pastor Jones was selected by majority vote to become the Senior Pastor of Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church, where he served for more than 29 years. Pastor Jones retired from the pulpit in 2007 after nearly three decades of faithful service and took on the title of Pastor Emeritus. Any member or guest of Evening Star would know Pastor Jones' identifying phrase: "God is a good God. God is a great God. God can do anything but fail. There is no failure in God." And anyone who knew Pastor Jones also knew that, throughout the years, he mentored young ministers in their own pastoral journeys, providing support and guidance to many.
Nearly a decade after his retirement, Pastor Jones found a spiritual companion in Mother Anna Small, a member of The Star of Bethel. After much prayer and discernment, Pastor Jones joined The Star of Bethel in January 2016, with Rev. Timothy Boze as Senior Pastor.
THE COMMUNITY STORY
It should come as no surprise that Pastor Jones held a deep and passionate regard for the welfare of others. Throughout his life, he served in a variety of leadership roles to further the Glenville neighborhood and Greater Cleveland community. He was especially focused on youth and young adults.
He was the past President and Title Giver of the ''Adopt a Black Child Now" adoption agency; past supervisor of the Cleveland Sub District of Young David's; Spiritual Advisor to the Cleveland Sub-District of Baptist Women; past program director of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Cleveland and Vicinity; and, past Chairman of the Cleveland Police Review Board. Pastor Jones was also Mason #32 of the Prince Hall Free Masonry.
Additionally, Pastor Jones has worked with the City of Cleveland's Empowerment Zone, Famicos Foundation, Glenville Development Corporation, Mt. Pleasant NOW Development Corporation, and Northeastern Neighborhood Development Corporation.
In 2002, Pastor Jones was inducted into the Glenville Hall of Fame and received the Community Service Award from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). In 2003, he received the "Key to Ward 8" from Councilwoman Sabra Pierce Scott. Pastor Jones also gave 30 years of service to the United States Postal Service, retiring in July 1984.
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