EveryOne:Reaching Farther Together
A regular column sponsored by Randall House Publications, Leader Profile features a different
Free Will Baptist pastor or leader in each issue.
Contact Danny Conn to nominate a leader.
Leadership comes in all forms and sizes, but the results are always the same. Leaders influence behavior
and make a difference in other people’s lives. Profiling leaders shows a variety and diverse combination of
traits and characteristics, but impacting lives is always a common theme.
What do you get when you cross leadership with tenacity? Jeff Jones.
Jeff pastors Hilltop
Free Will Baptist Church in Fuquay-Varina just outside of Raleigh, NC. Jeff came to this
church right out of college and worked as the youth pastor and assistant pastor under
Rev. Billy Bevan for seven years.
His tenure as pastor started in 1996, and since that year the church has grown from
averaging 268 to 766 in 2008. Hilltop just completed a major building project, opening a
new auditorium that will seat 1,000 people, and a phase II multi-purpose building. While
these are impressive achievements, Jeff will tell you that seeing 156 people become followers
of Christ in first time decisions last year is what his heart beats for.
Such accomplishments are not without struggles. Early last year, Jeff was in a motorcycle crash that broke
his back, four bones in his right arm, and rendered his left arm completely owerless. His wife Rose became his
arms when he could not feed himself, dress himself, or even hug her in return. The couple grew up together in
the same church and have been married for 24 years.
Jeff believes strongly in Christian education, and it is no surprise that Hilltop operates a Christian school.
He paid his own way through high school at a Christian school. Jeff teaches homiletics at Southeastern FWB College where his oldest daughter studies Christian education.
Jeff is quick to point to some strong influences
in his life—growing up under Pastor Dann Patrick, feeling the call to ministry while Randy Sawyer was
preaching in youth camp, answering the call to preach two years later while Van Dale Hudson was preaching in a
conference, and the close friendship of Danny Dwyer, one of his professors.
All About Jeff:
Quiet Time Routine: Prays while walking more than three miles and then sits down to read and dwell on one chapter a
day, digging into study tools to better understand it.
Ideal date: Each week either a Wednesday lunch or Friday dinner Jeff takes his wife to one of their favorite restaurants...Carabbas, Firebirds, or Outback.
Kids and a one-word description of each: (two girls) Stacie (19) focused; Leslie (14) live wire.
Changed Into His Image by Jim Berg (most challenging book)
Pastoral Guide to Sermon Preparation by Jerry Vines (best help in preaching)
Point Man by Steve Farrar (great challenge on Christian manhood)
Dr. C: The Vision and Ministry of W. A. Criswell by Robert A. Rohm (favorite biography)
Job, A Man of Heroic Endurance by Charles Swindoll (read before my accident)
Biggest Failure: Not completing his masters from Bob Jones University (22 hours left)
One Indulgence: Chocolate Thunder From Down Under (Outback Dessert)
Jeff, like Job, has stood through some enduring tests, and the people around him are better for it. He pours his
heart into young preachers, teaching them by example the strength of solid expository preaching. Jeff has good
friendships beyond the close circle of friends in which he moves. While talking with Jeff during his interview, he
bragged on his church and deflected the spotlight from himself. He loves his wife and girls.
Jeff Jones, you are a great leader!