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Evan J. Jones

Evan J. Jones, a former American Baptist home missionary who served with National Ministries as director of Alaska Ministries from 1985 to 1996, died at his home in Kodiak, Alaska, on Dec. 24 after a long illness.

In overseeing American Baptist home mission work in Alaska, Jones supported new church planting and area ministry. He served as National Ministries' staff liaison with American Baptist home mission partners, which include Kodiak Baptist Mission, Cordova Community Christian Center, and Alaska Children's Services in Anchorage. He also assisted in procuring volunteers and leadership for local churches and represented American Baptist Churches USA with the National Baptist Convention in Alaska.  

From 1996-97 Jones served as interim executive director of Kodiak Baptist Mission. Known as "Pastor Evan" by the children, he later served as chaplain for the mission.

An American Baptist chaplain, Jones accepted a commission with the U.S. Army in 1976 and rose to the rank of colonel and the position of (Alaska) State Area Command Chaplain. He received numerous military commendations, including Meritorious Achievement, Distinguished Service and Humanitarian Service, and the Legion of Merit Award from the President of the United States.

"Evan Jones had a passion for diversity and a love for all people," said Dr. Alonzo Patterson, National Ministries' coordinator of Alaska Ministries. "He believed deeply in the American Baptist mission and ministry in Alaska and was well known as a planner, fundraiser, visionary and preacher/teacher. He had a vision of seeing Alaska become a self-sufficient region with representation on the national level.

He was a friend and a brother." Dr. David Laubach, associate executive director of New Churches, Evangelism and Transformation Ministries for National Ministries, said, "Evan Jones provided exceptional leadership in the transition of Kodiak Baptist Mission from state-funded residential care facility to a mission organization that offers a full array of faith-based community ministries.

His service as volunteer director was a critical bridge to the future. His heart, passion and vision for Alaska will endure for generations."

Jones is survived by his wife, Annabelle Middleton Jones; three sons, Matthew Evan Jones, Trevor Jones, and Evan Jones II; a daughter, Julie Anne Ball; and six grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held on Jan. 3 at Community Baptist Church in Kodiak and on Jan. 11 at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Anchorage. Friends are encouraged to send written memories of Jones to the family at Kodiak Baptist Mission, 1944 Rezanof Drive, Kodiak, AK 99615 or In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Kodiak Baptist Mission.

Source: American Baptist News Service, Valley Forge, Pa. 30 December 2003


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