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Rev Dr. William Augustus Jones, Jr
Birth: Feb. 24, 1934
Louisville
Jefferson County
Kentucky, USA
Death: Feb. 5, 2006
Brooklyn
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA

Powerful and noted theologian, minister, civil rights activist. Jones was a past president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, founder of the National Black Pastors' Conference, author, and pastor for more than four decades of Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He also served as national chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Operation Breadbasket working alongside with his friend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and he has also been a member of the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance. For almost half a century, the Rev. William Augustus Jones,Jr. referred to as "the trumpet" was an impassioned voice of hope and inspiration not just in his neighborhood but across this country. Jones took seriously the Great Commission and went out into all the world to preach the gospel. There may have been no better combination of poetry, prophecy, and power in the pulpit than could be found in his preaching. His preaching has been heard and heralded by audiences in every denomination of Christendom and on nearly every continent on earth. His preaching was as likely to intrique a listner's mind with a quote from a lofty theological source as it was to thrill the soul with his characteristic shout of "Hallelujah, yes!" Jones was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 24, 1934. He was the proud member of the honorable order of Kentucky Colonels, the son and grandson of Baptist ministers. He graduated from from the former Dunbar High School in Lexington. Jones then served in the United States military from 1953 to 1956, reaching the rank of a first lieutenant stationed at Fort Knox. It was there when he heard the call to preach. He later received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Kentucky in 1958 and a bachelor of divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary in 1961. He married Natalie Brown in 1958 and the couple had four children. From 1959 to 1962 he was the pastor of First Baptist Church in Philadelphia (Paschal), Pennsylvania. From September of 1962 to his retirement in September of 2005 Jones served as pastor of the Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York. There he was part of the Brooklyn-based trinity of Baptist preachers that included Sandy F. Ray and Gardner C. Taylor. A longtime social activist, Jones served as national president of Operation Breadbasket, an affiliate of the Southern Christian Leadership Confernce (SCLC), in the late 1960s. He also served as the first chair of the New York chapter of SCLC. While in that position, Jones led numerous protest, including thousands of people in a boycott against the Atlantic & Pacific (A&P) grocery store chain for discriminating against African-Americans. At the same time, he was active within the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC), serving as president of that body from 1978 to 1980. He was also founder and president of the National Black Pastors' Conference, an interdenominational gathering of black clergy from across the country that convened for the first time in Detroit, Michigan, in 1980. This unique conference brought together pastors and professors, Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, and clergy from many other religious groups. Jones received his doctor of ministry degree at Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1975 as a member of the first class of Martin Luther King Jr. Fellows. His dissertation in that doctoral project became the basis of a book God and the Ghetto. Jones also completed special studies at the University of Lagos in Nigeria and the University of Ghana at Legon. He also wrote The Black Church Looks at the Bicentennial with ministers Wyatt Tee Walker and Harold Carter. He taught homiletics and related pastoral courses at such schools as Colgate Rochester, Union Seminary in New York, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C. For many years he was a mentor to doctoral students, along with Harold Carter, at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. However, it was as a preacher that Jones made his mark and his greatest contributions. He was one of the most sought-after evangelists in the country, on the road upwards of thirty weeks per year. Jones preaching platforms over the years included St. Patricks Cathedral in New York City, The First All-Asian Baptist Church Congress (Hyderabad, India),The Baptist World Alliance meeting in Toronto in 1980, The International Congress on Preaching at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and The Bethany Hour, a weekly television program by his church that came on cable stations across the country. He also preached the gospel on weekly national radio programs. In 1984 Ebony magazine named him one of the top fifteen black preachers in America. Jones published writings include: The Black Church Looks at the Bicentennial, God In The Ghetto, Responsible Preaching (a book of his sermons), The African American Church: Past, Present and Future, and When God Says, "Let Me Alone". He also baptized civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, who credits the late pastor with bringing him into the civil rights movement. Dr. William Augustus Jones died at his home in Brooklyn on February 5, 2006 from complications from kidney problems. His funeral at Bethany was attended by thousands followed by burial in his native Kentucky. Among the many honors Jones has received included the school of theology at Simmons College in Louisville, which was co-founded by Jones' grandfather, the Rev. Henry Wise Jones, being named the William Augustus Jones Jr. School of Preaching in Janauary of 2006, recipient of the New York Urban League's Frederick Douglass Award in 1972, and being cited as "The Dean of New York's Great Preachers" by the New York Daily News. Jones also holds honorary doctorates from six colleges or univeristies, including a Doctor of Humanities Degree from the University of Kentucky, in 1993. The number of young preachers across the county who are the sons and daughters of Dr. William Augustus Jones, Jr. in the ministry are large. Although many are saddened by his passing, they also celebrate his wonderful legacy that he leaves behind. 
 
Burial:
Lexington Cemetery
Lexington
Fayette County
Kentucky, USA
 
Created by: Curtis Jackson
Record added: Feb 16, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13356101
Rev Dr. William Augustus Jones, Jr
Added by: AmosJones
 
Rev Dr. William Augustus Jones, Jr
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Rev Dr. William Augustus Jones, Jr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Anonymous
 
 
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God Bless you Mr Jones. I owe much thanks.
- L.F. Jones
 Added: Jul. 2, 2014

- Arcelia Patterson Gates
 Added: Feb. 4, 2014

- Fred Rousseau
 Added: Feb. 15, 2013
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