Friday, January 11, 2008

The Passing of Bishop Ozro Thurston Jones, Jr.

One of the truly great statesmen of the church has completed his earthly sojourn. Bishop Ozro Thurston Jones, Jr., went from labor to reward Wednesday, January 9th, 2008, leaving a void in the hearts of many who loved this highly educated and equally highly spiritual son of the church. Although his voice has been silent in recent years because of his illness, his legacy lingers quietly under the surface.

He served a generation as the editor of the Young People Willing Workers' topics. Many of us were instructed in the way of Holiness through those powerful and relevant YPWW lessons. He understood that the future of the church resided in the youth. And that it was of the utmost importance that those youth understood this church and the doctrines of sanctification and holiness. It was in YPWW that I learned that we (COGIC) were a "Holiness Church" that embraces the "Pentecostal experience." My mother took me and my brothers to Sunday School, but we went to YPWW on our own!

YPWW was more than a gathering of young people, it was a gathering for young people. I remember the Late Bishop E. E. Hamilton at Emanuel COGIC in San Francisco (just before the church moved from Post Street), sitting in his office listening to our YP discussions. Then just before YP was concluded, Bishop Hamilton would come out of his office and take the YPWW topic as a point of departure and instruct us deeper in the Word of the Lord and in the way of Holiness.

I think it would be a fitting tribute to Bishop Jones’ memory for the church to make a compilation of those YPWW lessons to this current generation of youth.

Our prayers go out to the jurisdiction, local church and family of Bishop O. T. Jones, Jr.

Supt. Steve Lester

Marietta, GA 30061

No comments: