For nearly 40 years, Bishop Noel Jones has challenged us through his messages. A theologian and scholar who has been labeled “eclectic, a maverick, and a preacher’s preacher”, he is known for thinking outside the box and forcing us to think beyond traditional views of God and spirituality. Never being one to shy away from controversy, his propensity to be transparent has often forced us to confront the trepidations and apprehensions of our own lives.
Bishop Jones is a product of the educational and religious system of Jamaica, West Indies, where the disciplinary system was rigid and strict. Having been told early in his life that one did not question authority, especially the power of God he aspired to understand why. Through natural curiosity and a hunger for knowledge, he set out to determine the impact of one’s spiritual understanding on their identity, psychological development and behavior. And, thus, he began a lifelong pursuit of Biblical knowledge and comprehension – his quest has been to open the scriptures in order to recognize the enormity of God and share his discoveries with others.
Bishop Jones attended St. Jago High School in Spanish Town, Jamaica, and received a Bachelor’s of Science from Aenon Bible College in Columbus, OH. His anointing, transparency and intellectualism have made him one of the most sought after voices in the United States of America and across the world. His first pastorate was at Bethel Temple of Longview in Longview Texas, where he served for almost 20 years. In 1994, he relocated to Los Angeles, California, and succeeded the venerable Bishop Robert W. McMurrary as Pastor of Greater Bethany Community Church, now known as The City of Refuge.
His gospel message seeks to address religion’s inability to offer relevance to the changing climate of the times. To this end, he often pushes the envelope to make us question our conventional approaches to daily challenges. His strong desire to see lives changed has led to a transformational form of leadership in ministry. He no longer sees the preacher as head of an hierarchical system but rather in partnership with administration and laity of the Church. He sees the need for integration and multi-faceted leadership styles and methods to reach the community within and outside of the Church. The church he pastors, The City of Refuge, with a membership of 20,000, has integrated programs that speak to the needs of people in all walks of life; those who matriculate in the mainstream of life, those who face drug and alcohol addiction, those who are incarcerated and have recently been released, and those who are homeless and indigent. At The City of Refuge, we feel, “that everyone belongs.”
Bishop Jones can currently be seen on The Word Channel on Sunday evenings.
He is the father of three children: Noel (Cozzette), Eric (Angela), and Tifani (Bavu). He is the grandfather to: Lena, Ian, Oliver, Samani, Ellison, and Eliana.