This Sunday, November 9, we are privileged to welcome Kevin Jones to the pulpit of First Christian Church. Kevin and his spouse, Becky, have been members of our congregation since 2012, and were active in worship and mission until he was called to be the Interim Minister at Runnells Christian Church last December.
Born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England, Kevin was raised by his mother and grandmother on the “wrong side of the tracks.” Nevertheless, he attended the University of Nottingham and University of Birmingham for undergraduate degrees in history and theology, and a postgraduate diploma in Education. While living in England, Kevin volunteered in his local church youth ministry and taught High School. At age 40, Kevin reflects, “I began to feel teaching was no longer my vocation, and quite soon afterwards, while I was still pondering what God wanted me to do next, some American girl imported me as her husband. I had very little say in the matter.”
Moving to Columbus, Ohio in 2000 Kevin, discovered his teaching career was not transferable to the United States. It was at that time a career coach advised Kevin to look into youth ministry positions. Kevin worked in the Methodist church as a Youth Minister from 2002 to 2007, and he attended Methodist Theological School in Ohio where he completed a Master of Theological Studies. In 2012, Kevin and Becky moved to Des Moines, and reflecting on the journey Kevin remembers, “As we left Ohio I found I could no longer work in a church which excluded people on any basis. Therefore, we moved to the Disciples of Christ, because we reject rejection and welcome everyone.” Kevin credits Rev. Dr. John Bolen, our interim minister in 2013, for his ministerial standing transfer, “because having discussed my theological position with John Bolen, he described me as a ‘born Stone-Campbellite.’”
Kevin is now a student of Lexington Theological Seminary where he is completing the requirements for a Masters of Divinity, and on November 10, 2014 he will begin his pastorate of Elkhart Christian Church in Elkhart, Iowa. Without reservation, I (Ryan Arnold) was honored to give my full recommendation to Kevin’s application to Lexington Theological Seminary. Writing to the admissions director, I said, “With Kevin’s extensive ministerial experience, clear calling, and natural gifts I am certain he will be an excellent minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) tradition.”
Please join me in welcoming our seminary student and friend, Kevin Jones.