My Day: Mr. Mayor Rev. Dr. Jones


By Dr. J. Ester Davis
Staff Writer

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT:

On Saturday, June 15, 2019, the Pastor’s Retirement Committee, New Hope Baptist Church, will host “An Honorary Tribute Birthday Retirement
Celebration” for Dr. Ronald E. Jones, Former Pastor, 2:30 PM.

The program will have special music by “The Gospel Sons” of Waco, Texas. The event is open to the public.

We actually see miracles every day and tend to minimize them or ignore them. In 2009, a large passenger jet made an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River. The pilot, Captain Sullenberger, who landed the plane safely with no casualties, made a statement that I shall never forget, “One way of looking at this is that for 42 years I have been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education, faith and training. And on that day, the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.” Keyword: sufficient.

On Sunday, May 5, 2019, Dr. Ronald E. Jones, former Pastor of the legendary New Hope Baptist Church, Dallas’ oldest founded in 1873, preached his retirement sermon. The appropriate title was “My Grace is Sufficient.” The Song of Praise preceding the message amply and soul-searchingly submitted was “I Know Something About God’s Grace.”

As Christians, at times we exhibit little about faith and sufficiency; however, we are skilled critics in engineering excellence delivering prognosis when balancing life and death. Rev. Dr. Jones’ opening testimony was grippingly powerful. He dismissed his American Statesman status, his exemplary political careers, one spanning three terms as Mayor of Garland, his three appointed interim pastorships. Dr. Jones omitted his countless national and prestigious appointments. He mentioned instead his growing-up days at Griggs Chapel. He journeyed on, carrying now a command of authority, with an accounting of his 116 days in the hospital. “One hundred sixteen consecutive days,” he emphasized, when he could not walk, talk, eat. . . he could only lay there and bat “my eyes.” “Medically,” he said. “I was in trouble. I could only reflect on the scriptures going through my brain. My heart rate was not right. . . I became totally irresponsive requiring, at one point, 12 hours to restore me. Things began to go downhill. . . and then, things got worse. I had three major surgeries. The prevailing view was not good.”

Rev. Dr. Jones’ story from the pulpit had the full attention of a captive audience, without the movie-infused, surround-sound features. The former mayor with a broken back, wearing a back brace talked about the real meaning of physical therapy, which he said is “prescribed torture.” After the lifetime of the “116 consecutive days” in the hospital, there awaited more serious repercussions. One of his doctors notified him that he had no muscle mass. An able physical therapist who addressed the national icon as “Mr. Mayor Rev. Dr. Jones” was appointed to manufacture this fragile guy back to his bionic, up rightful position. The Pastor continued, “When you are weak. . . your faith is a magnet.” But just like the miracle landing in New York’s Hudson River, Dr. Jones has made 50 regular years of deposits in New Hope Baptist Church, faith and works in the community and God granted him his full grace of recovery.