I was saddened to hear about the home going of my friend Dr Howard O Jones. Unfortunately I was not able to make his memorial service because I was on tour in Korea.
Growing up in Jamaica, our parents made us listen to Christian radio programs. One such program was the hour of freedom with Dr Howard Jones. I was fascinated listening to his program and also reading his book.
Dr Jones’ story paralleled mine. He was a musician who gave it all up to preach full time for Jesus. Reading his story impacted my life and gave me extra courage to follow his example later in life.
In 1989 my friend Wayland Richards invited me to play special music in chapel at St Paul Bible College (now Crown College) in Minnesota. At the time Wayland was the student body President. By divine coincidence Dr Jones was the speaker for the morning. I was thrilled to meet him, a person I looked up to as a role model and listened to so frequently on the radio. Following chapel he asked if I had any recordings I said no. He then asked for a recording of the chapel service and took it to the Billy Graham headquarters so they could hear me.
A few days later I got a call from BGEA headquarters and they wanted more information. Soon I met with a representative and was invited to become one of the musicians in the crusades. I will forever be indebted to Dr Jones for his introduction to the BGEA which has become one of the highlights of my life.
Dr Jones not only became a dear friend, he was one of my prayer partners and advisor. He did nothing without prayer. I remember once at a crusade we had serious spiritual opposition. At the time I was reading one of Frank Perettis books on spiritual warfare. In the book the angels were saying words to the effect “We want to act on behalf of the people but the prayer cover is not in place“. That intrigued me and I mentioned that to Dr Jones. He agreed so we decided to pray multiple times each day. Praise God He heard our prayers and many souls were won for the kingdom. I remember seeing all the people come to Jesus and Doc and I looked at each other from the platform. Our look said to God be the glory. Prayer definitely changes things.
Doc insisted I called him Howard because of our friendship but I could not do it. I had too much respect for him. I know this is not a big deal for most people but I just could not do it.
I was invited to his home where I spent a weekend enjoying his wife Wanda’s cooking, meeting his family and playing a concert at his church. At the concert Doc asked me to do a martial arts demonstration for the young people. I guess he felt safe with me around with my martial arts skills 🙂 I was happy to and we had a great time at the concert.
Billy Graham sent this statement which was read at Doc’s funeral.
“Howard Jones was one of my best friends. He did more for race relations among evangelicals than any other person of his generation. Howard was a deeply spiritual person, and I loved him in Christ. “I look forward to the day when we shall be reunited in heaven before the One to Whom Howard gave his life and ministry in service. I send my prayers and love to each of his children, grandchildren and extended family,”
You can read more here BGEA: Remembering the Legacy of Howard O. Jones
Ed Gilbreth former Judson University Grad (like me) worked with Doc on his book Gospel Trailblazer. You can find copies of this book on line. Ed wrote a perspective you can read here. Remembering Dr. Howard Jones « Reconciliation Blog
Dr Jones retired a few years ago but we would still talk and as always we had a time of prayer before we ended our conversation. I will always be indebted to Dr Jones for his friendship and for introducing me to the BGEA. Doc you will be missed.
Rev Huntley Brown
International Concert Pianist
2112 West Galena Blvd
Suite A 285
Aurora IL 60506
U. S. A
Phone 630 907 0537