David M. Jones, pastor, was born July 17, 1936 in Jacksonville, Florida. His mother believed in Christian education, placing her son at the Ephesus Junior Academy in Jacksonville for elementary and junior high school. He continued his education at Pine Forge Academy for high school. After graduating from Pine Forge Academy, he enrolled in Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) where he received a bachelor of arts degree. Jones continued his studies at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan; the Institute of America in Bible Philosophy, Kansas City, Missouri, and the Georgia Baptist College & Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, where he received an honorary doctorate of divinity.
Jones, who was affectionately called “D.M.,” served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a literature evangelist, Bible worker, pastor, teacher, evangelist, director of Sabbath School and children’s ministries, and safety officer. He was the first vice president for administration for the South Atlantic Conference, and most recently served the Conference as health ministries director and archivist/historian.
Although he served in an administrative capacity, his greatest love was as pastor and evangelist — pastoring some 27 congregations. He was a member of the Centurion Club for many years where he baptized 100-plus souls. He was also a member of the Quinquagenarian Club for several years and baptized 50-plus souls.
Jones served as director of security and medical for the Southern Union, North American Division and at the International Pathfinders’ Camporee. He was awarded by Pine Forge Academy faculty, Alumnus of Distinction in the Field of Gospel Ministry.
Jones was a board member and chairman of the Offender Aid and Restoration for the Eastern Division of North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina. He served as a lifestyle consultant and was certified by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. He additionally served as a member of the Mayor’s Minority Affairs Committee in several cities where he pastored.
He served many years as a civil rights activist, and assisted Ocala and Marion County, Florida, as a civil rights spokesman and coordinator during times of unrest.
Jones served on the South Atlantic Conference and Southern Union Conference Executive Committees, as well as the South Atlantic Conference Board of Education. He served as chaplain for various police and sheriff departments, and before his death, served as chaplain for Newton County Georgia Sheriff’s Office.
God used him to organize and build several churches. He bought a new school building and added two grades to Ephesus Jr. Academy in Winston -Salem, North Carolina. He was a member of the United States Jaycees, and was the first Black Jaycee in North Carolina in the early 1970s, and was instrumental in organizing the East Salem Jaycees (Winston-Salem) Chapter 0455.
Jones passed on January 3, 2021. He was married to the former G. Delores Monroe of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They have three adult children, Denise R. Jones, Darlene A. Jones, and David M. Jones II; and three grandchildren, Desiree, Darkari, and Daylin.
Jones loved people and enjoyed being called “pastor.” He believed when you are called to be a minister, you do it to make history, not to make money. He appreciated his calling and baptized more than 2,500 for the Kingdom of God! Whenever he attended a meeting, after the closing prayer, you could hear him say, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
James Lamb, Ph.D., is the human resources and communication director at the South Atlantic Conference.
South Atlantic | March 2021