One might assume Psalm 144:1, “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle,” would be a perfect life verse for military personnel, but those words also have special meaning for pianist and worship leader Frank Jones.
“When I ran across this verse, I couldn’t breathe for a bit,” he recalled. “I realized that every time I play, especially at a church-type environment, I’m really doing battle with the enemy. I could easily be using the gifts I have in some other fashion, but God called me to do what I’m doing — train my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
“When I play, I’m doing business for the Kingdom.”
Jones has been in ministry most of his life. After graduating from Samford University in Birmingham and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, Jones served for decades in various churches in Alabama and Texas.
He currently serves on staff at Hunter Street Baptist Church, Hoover, and as senior adult event coordinator for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.
In 2011, Jones was associate minister of worship and minister to 55-plus adults at Calvary Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa. He also was performing and leading worship at conferences and churches all across Alabama and the Southeast. Then he began to sense God leading him into something new.
New ministry effort
After much prayer and consultation with his wife, Margaret, Jones began Frank Jones Ministries in January 2012. He estimated he has ministered in more than 375 venues through the effort.
Each year, he hosts the OASIS conference for senior adults, to be held this year on July 29 at First Baptist Church, Trussville. Pastor-turned-comedian Dennis Swanberg, known as “The Swan” and “America’s Minister of Encouragement,” will be featured, joined by Paid in Full, a Southern gospel trio from Mississippi, and the FBC Pickers, a bluegrass gospel group from First Baptist Church, Guntersville.
Jones anticipates a large crowd, noting, “people are ready to go somewhere! We could have as many as 600–700 people there, which would be a record for this event.”
Through his years of ministry, Jones has had many unforgettable moments. Once while he was leading a senior adult “sing,” a mother and daughter sat in front of him, and he thought they looked familiar but couldn’t place them. Finally, during the last song, he realized who they were — the daughter was a childhood friend and the mother his first choir teacher.
‘Time of fellowship’
“When I realized who that was, I thought, ‘I’m standing up here on this stage because of what she implemented in my life as a first-grader,’ and I went to pieces. We were still singing but I just stepped off the stage and walked down there. We had a sweet time of fellowship,” Jones recalled.
While serving as interim worship pastor at Hunter Street, his choir and the choirs from Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Vestavia Hills and First, Trussville, sang — accompanied by a 40-piece orchestra — at Carnegie Hall in New York.
“[That experience] is something I will treasure and cherish for the rest of my life,” Jones said.
Along with ministry events, Jones has released eight instrumental CDs. His favorites are “In Him and Hymn,” his first recording, and “Moments,” hymns specifically chosen for quiet times.
He also produced “One Mighty Voice,” a three-CD collection of accompaniment tracks of hymns that can be used for congregational singing or personal worship. “One Mighty Voice — Songs for Advent” features Christmas songs suitable for use in caroling, small gatherings and congregational worship.
Calling it “COVID caroling,” Jones and others from Hunter Street used these tracks and a portable sound system to sing in front yards during the 2020 Christmas season.
“That was a blessing for us during COVID, for us to be able to touch some lives,” he said. “Some of those individuals went on to be with the Lord after that, so I’m glad that we had the opportunity to share that last, special time with them.”
Even after decades of ministry, Jones said he still loves what he does. “It’s great to be able to get paid to do something that you love to do so much,” he said. “I am blessed because going to work at a church or doing my ministry, whatever that involves, it’s not a job to me. It’s my calling [and] it’s something I really enjoy doing.”
For more information, visit frankjones-ministries.org.
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