By: Rebecca S. Jones
Out of Ferriday, Louisiana’s Cajun Country and cotton fields emerged a great singer, leader, businessman and preacher of the Gospel. Born the last son of twenty-two children to Esau and Alice Jones on White Hall Plantation was Richard Jones.
As a youth, the elders of his community all agreed that he was quite a unique child and destined to be a preacher. Richard, after growing up in his uncle’s church and working in the cotton fields amongst his father’s various business ventures sought after soil that was much larger than that of his hometown. With an intention to sing Rock & Roll, Jones initiated a brief career opening up for legendary Rock & Roll singers inclusive with Lil Milton and Tyrone Davis. However his plans were soon interfered by a heavenly call that beckoned him to preach the Gospel; a call that he accepted on October 18, 1972. In doing so he relocated to Houston, Texas where he met and married Joyce Patterson. To that union were five children added: Richard Jr., Nicole, Rebecca, Jeremiah, and Isaiah Jones.
With an impetus heart, Jones being determined to produce a fruitful and productive life for his family and ministry made a decision to go into business for himself. Armed with the knowledge learned from Mack Lean, the first Black man working in the grease industry in Houston and equipped with an entrepreneurial spirit received from his father, he organized Jones Grease Service in July 10, 1981.
At that moment he became the first Black man to own and operate a grease business in the city of Houston. Although successful in his engineering and launching of Jones Grease Service, as with anything for Blacks at that time his flow of operation did not come without adversity from his White counterparts; who reduced themselves to fictitious claims regarding his business at an attempt to diffuse the success of a little Black preacher from the country.
However, Jones decided that no stumbling block would detour him from the path of which he had envisioned for he, his family and ministry. Thereby causing him to enlarge his territory from Houston and surrounding areas to other larger cities in Texas in addition to the coasts of Louisiana. While Jones Grease Service continued to grow so did his ministry. Jones became one of 5th Wards greatest churches Youth Pastor, Northside Antioch Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Robert Staggers. Following he became the Assistant Pastor at Christ Way Baptist Church under the guidance of the late Pastor Sam White. Spiritually motivated and eager to win souls for Christ, Rev. Jones organized the Greater Rosehill Baptist Church in April of 1982; receiving its name from his home church in Louisiana (Rosehill Baptist Church), pastored by his uncle Pastor Jacob J. Jones. Although Jones chose to preside over a small congregation, through his ministry he has crossed this nation singing, spreading, and preaching the Gospel of Christ everywhere he goes.
When asked of one of his greatest accomplishments, Pastor Jones stated that, “I would have to say the fruit of my ministry is my greatest accomplishment, of which I would take nothing for it.” He also reflects of his favorite Bible verse as, “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: St. John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Through his business and ministry, he has touched the lives of those he has had the opportunity to meet. To that effect, the ministry that was entrusted to him has produced a large gallery of: ministers, evangelists, pastors, singers, missionaries and deacons to state the least. Throughout that same has he had the grievous task of burying his mother, father, fourteen brothers and sisters, a son (Jeremiah Jones), grandson (Samuel Renard Jones), wife of thirty-five years (Joyce Marie Jones), numerous cousins, friends and associates. After over twenty years of self-employment under Jones Grease Service he retired and sold his business in 2000. In December of 2000, he organized Jones Pallet Service of which he currently is the overseer of operations. Throughout the years Jones has built a reputation of wearing many hats and functioning under an umbrella of many gifts and talents. However, of all the fruitful and productive work he has done, lives he has led to Christ and hats he has worn the one that has touched me the most is the hat that he has worn as being a father. For I could write of his works as the first boss I ever worked under, or as a Pastor but before he was any of those titles to me he was my father first. A father who never left me, my siblings, nor our mother to fend for ourselves.
One of who raised us up in the nurture and admonition of Christ and taught us right from wrong; even if that meant using the ‘rod of correction’. Not only did he teach the scripture to us, but he lived it by example. He has never told me anything wrong nor pacified my ego to spare my feelings. He is from the Old School and for that I have learned to appreciate this awesome Many of Many Hats!
Perhaps, one of the most significant moments that stand out for me as a child was the strength and love that my father demonstrated to me when I lost my two month old son. He comforted me and never left me alone. As if that wasn’t enough the strength that he gave me during the loss of my mother only a month later can never be duplicated nor reciprocated. So in this Father’s Day edition, I would like to salute one of the greatest father’s this side of heaven. My father: Pastor Rev. Richard Jones Sr..