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Deacon of the week: Joe Jones

Mickey Starling: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Joe Jones is the Chairman of Deacons at Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church, where he has been a deacon for five years. Previously, Jones served as a deacon at Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church, in Greenville, where he also served with Pastor Sim Alexander, who is now the pastor at Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church.

As a deacon, Jones covers many bases, including taking care of the communion table, fellowship hall tables, assisting the pastor, setting up deacon meetings and visitation. Jones also leads devotions for special services and helps train new deacons. Though raised in church, Jones distinctly remembers his conversion, which occurred on Aug. 6, 1974. "The Holy Spirit overwhelmed me in that service and it felt really good," said Jones. "I had to tell everybody I met Jesus.''

At 28, Jones found his commitment to Çhrist weaken as he went through some personal struggles. "I had a night and day experience that I will never forget," said Jones, who, in a compromising moment, began to feel sick around 2 a.m. one morning while returning home. "I thought I was going to die," said Jones. "I pulled over and prayed, bowing my head and expecting never to look up again, but when I looked up, everything was brightly lit. I went back to praying, looked up again a little later and it was dark again. The temptations I was dealing with then have never returned."

Jones is employed as a team leader at Twin Oaks Vocational Academy, in Greenville, where he often has the opportunity to mentor young men. Both at work and church, Jones strives to treat people with kindness and respect. "I try to treat people the way I want to be treated and if I can't bring something positive to them, I try not to bring anything negative," said Jones. "I love being in the community and helping people out."

Jones and his wife, Virginia Jones, have two children: Tracie Jones and Travis Jones, along with two wonderful grandchildren. Jones has three siblings: Marcus Jones, Larcedious Jones and Emily Dickey.

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