By Marva J. Sneed
On “From Marva with Love,” we recently heard from Pastor Roy F. Jones, II, Pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, TX. He is an extraordinary man of God who possesses a unique style of preaching and teaching the word of God with humility, power, and relevance. Pastor Jones is married to Willie M. Wooley, and they have a son Roy F. Jones, III.
MS: Pastor Jones, you were called to be a minister in 1997. How long after that, did you become a pastor?
RJ: I announced my call in 1997. I preached my first sermon in March of 1997, and my pastor that was 93-years-old, passed in 1999, and I became the interim pastor in 1999; and about two-and-a-half years later, I became pastor. About three weeks ago, we celebrated 20 years as a pastor.
MS: How has it been pastoring? Have you experienced growth?
RJ: From my standpoint, I have grown. I’ve matured, and also, you learn that the most significant thing you’re doing is for the Lord, ministering. I have baptized children, and now I’m baptizing their children and watching their children grow. It has been a phenomenal experience. That you play an essential aspect in people’s lives, God would have you play a significant part in their lives’ baptism, marriage, and sometimes even grief, you’re there. So what a joy and a blessing that God would have you in their lives. You become family, and that’s the greatest blessing that anyone can have.
MS: How are you handling the challenges of helping your parishioners during this COVID pandemic?
RJ: One of the things we’ve done, and of course, when everything hit, it was complete chaos for every pastor because it’s new to everybody, not just pastors, businesses and everything. But one thing that I realize with social media and everyone on the internet, that there needs to be structure. So one of the things we do is Zoom. We still have our Sunday school meeting in the morning. I’ll come back and preach from my sanctuary in my house at the 11:00 hour so people can have structure cause if they don’t, folks will get on the internet, and what will happen is they will get stuff from everywhere. When I grew up, my mother and my grandmother taught me that you don’t eat at anybody’s table. With so much out there, you have to make sure that you give them the proper meal or (word of God) so they don’t eat everywhere because they could get food poisoning depending on where you eat.
Pastor Jones shares even more about the challenges of the COVID pandemic. To hear the full interview click here. Tune in to “From Marva with Love,” Fridays from 11 am-1 pm.