Jerry Jones, retired Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) missionary and Arizona Southern Baptist Convention Director of Language Missions, died March 24 in Tennessee. He was 82.
In January 1972, Jerry and Nava, who died last August, were appointed by the Home Mission Board to work with Spanish-speaking people. He and his family spent that year in Guadalajara, Mexico, studying Spanish.
The Joneses served among Spanish-speaking people in New Mexico and along the Mexico border, 1973-84. In 1985, Jerry joined the AZSBC staff to support existing language churches and begin new churches with language groups including Hispanic, North American Indian, Eastern Indian, Arab, Deaf, Korean, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Laotian, Romanian, Japanese, Chinese and Filipino. During his more than 29 years in language missions, Jerry preached revivals in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Panama, as well as helping train pastors in Mexico and Panama.
After retiring in 2001, Jones began a Spanish-language mission at Mountain View Baptist Church, Phoenix. After two years, the mission was able to call a Mexican pastor to continue that work.
Jones then served as senior adult and outreach pastor at First Country Baptist Church, Surprise, until moving to Munford, Tenn., in 2006. In Tennessee, he was an active member of Gateway Baptist Church in Atoka and hwas an adjunct professor for Union University’s R. G. Lee Center located at Big Hatchie Baptist Association in Covington, Tenn., for 8 years.
He is survived by daughters Skye Lynn Irion, Robin Renee Massengill and Jennifer Glover; son Lyle A. Jones; 17 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren, with 1 more great-grandchild due in June. He is also survived by two brothers, two sisters and many extended family members.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be sent to one of the following: Gateway Baptist Church, Mission Trips Fund, 1950 Rosemark Rd, Atoka, TN 38004; Arizona Southern Baptist Convention, Catalytic Missions, 2240 N. Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Wounded Warrior Project.