Thirty-Three Years With The Same Church In Aberdeen
On February 1, 1965, I moved to Aberdeen, Mississippi with my wife, Wynene, and our four-year old daughter, to work with the church. Thirty-three years later, I have two daughters and four grandsons, all living in Aberdeen. When someone asks me "How could you stay with one church that long?," my reply is always, "They were not looking for much, and I fit in real well!"
One of my teachers at Freed-Hardeman University, William Woodson, told the preaching students to go to a congregation with the intention of staying a lifetime at that church. This idea was always in the back of my mind.
There are so many advantages of staying with one congregation for a long time. One of the main features is that the preacher can become such a vital part of a community. In Aberdeen, I have been active in school-related functions such as band boosters, athletic boosters, etc., and city-wide events such as pilgrimage tour guide, speaker at various functions, etc. The church also funded a broadcast from a local radio station, until the station recently closed. I aired sermons each Sunday for thirty-three years.
A great advantage is gained by the preacher staying many years with the same church. He becomes a vital part of lives of all the members and also the lives of those who are not members of the church!
I have baptized mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. I have performed the wedding ceremonies for many of the children of the families. I have conducted the funerals of many in the same families.
I am richer than Ted Turner, Ross Perot, and the late Howard Hughes all put together.
I am very thankful that the Church of Christ in Aberdeen has allowed me to stay with them for more than 33 years! While in college, I once heard brother C.C. Burns speak in chapel. I only remember one thing from his lesson, but this statement greatly impacted my life. He said, "As a church, we can fuss and fight or we can grow, but we can't do both."
Because of good leadership and honest members working together, the church here in Aberdeen has grown and has been able to do lots of good for the cause of Christ. Through the years we have grown physically by making four additions to our church building. More importantly, we have grown spiritually.
It is due to the support of great elders, working deacons, and other faithful members, that I have been able to stay in this church for thirty-three years.
-Jeremiah Jones, World Evangelist, May, 1998, page 6.
Note: Jeremiah Jones continued preaching in Aberdeen for over 40 years. He passed from this life, and was buried among the great preachers of Lamar County in the 20th century at Christian Chapel. See photos below.
Directions To The Grave Of Jeremiah Jones
Jeremiah Jones is buried in the Christian Chapel Church of Christ Cemetery a few miles south of Vernon, Alabama. From I-22, take Exit 16 just south of Hamilton, Alabama. Go south on Hwy. 43/171/278 about 22 miles to Sulligent. From Sulligent take Hwy. 17 about 10 miles south to Vernon. From Vernon, continue south on Hwy. 17 six miles and the church building/cemetery will be on the left. Also buried in the cemetery are a few other preachers of yesteryear including G.W. Hester, S.F. Hester, W.A. Black, and Plato A. Black.
33º 40.668 x 088º 05.362
or D.d. 33.677769,-88.089404
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Christian Chapel Church of Christ Cemetery
Jeremiah - Dec. 27, 1933 - Jan. 15, 2003